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Caspian States Sign Legal Regime Convention

15 August, 2018, 00:26 | Author: Lucille Rivera
  • Signing of Convention on Legal Status of Caspian Sea a 'Landmark Event'

Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan are expected to agree to a long-awaited convention on the legal status of the sea, which has been disputed since the collapse of the Soviet Union rendered obsolete agreements between Teheran and Moscow.

Iranian President Hasan Rouhani, according to the news agency Interfax, says "this issue will be settled additionally in the course of agreements between the relevant parties".

The agreement means the five countries can move forward with sharing out the resource-rich inland body of water, the largest in the world. In negotiations with post-Soviet nations, Tehran has insisted on either splitting the sea into five equal parts or jointly developing all of its resources.

The president also said the summit would include talks on energy industry, oil extraction from the Caspian Sea, as well as oil and gas swap.

The summit mainly focused on the legal status of the Caspian Sea.

The surface water will be in common usage, meaning freedom of access for all littoral states beyond territorial waters.

The Russian leader in the first place congratulated Nazarbayev on the results of the summit of heads of the Caspian states.

That is why disagreements over how to divide some of its huge oil and gas fields have been numerous - and acrimonious.

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Speaking after the signing on Sunday, all five leaders praised it as historic event, but provided little detail about provisions on splitting the seabed.

The sea's basins and surrounding areas are reported to be home to billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic meters of natural gas.

Among other things, the convention prohibits the armed forces of third countries from entering the Caspian.

The agreement also offers hope for the Caspian's ecological diversity and its depleted stocks of the beluga sturgeon, whose eggs are prized globally as caviar. On occasion, warships have been deployed to scare off contractors hired by rival countries. It holds various species of the fish sturgeon that the delicacy is sourced from.

The plan was previously opposed by Russian Federation and Iran, which could still attempt to block the pipeline - valued at up to US$5 billion - on environmental grounds.

Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev said the convention would set the quotas for fishing and forbid any foreign military presence.

It remained unclear whether the convention adopted on Sunday would definitely clear a way for the pipeline.

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