The adoption of the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea will allow to fully reveal its economic and transit potential. According to experts, it will help increase the trade, which, in turn, will have a positive impact on the development of both the Caspian and Central Asian regions. The heads of the Caspian states plan to sign the document this year at the summit in Kazakhstan. The discussion of this topic had continued for 20 years. The main controversy in the negotiation process was the principle of segregation of the sea. Today, the draft of the Convention is at the final stage of agreement between Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. 

ZHUMABEK SARABEKOV, LEADING EXPERT, INSTITUTE OF WORLD ECONOMICS AND POLITICS:

 - The parties agreed on the principle of determining the territorial belonging of the Caspian Sea. In particular, Iran and Turkmenistan have joined the positions of Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. The significance of this document is enormous for cooperation in Central Asia and in the Caspian region.

According to experts, the settlement of the legal status of the Caspian Sea plays an important role in the implementation of transit projects. For example, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway opens direct exit of goods from the Caspian Sea to Europe. Today, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan are placing special emphasis on the development of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route.

ZHUMABEK SARABEKOV, LEADING EXPERT, INSTITUTE OF WORLD ECONOMICS AND POLITICS:

 - This is one of the key routes for Kazakhstan to transport goods from China to Europe. Together with the Aktau seaport, the second phase of the Kuryk seaport is underway. Of course, the Convention will increase the flow of goods across the Caspian Sea and after this the Caspian Sea’s transit potential will be fully realized.

The adoption of the Convention will allow providing transnational companies with the legal guarantees for conducting activities in the Caspian Sea, experts say. This, in turn, will attract new investments to the region. In addition, the Caspian Sea will become more attractive for logistics companies.

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