The Caspian littoral states have signed the convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea

The Caspian littoral states have signed the convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea

The five states, including Kazakhstan, Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkmenistan ratified the historical document. The countries have tried to develop the difficult multi-year long agreement for almost a quarter century. Caspian Sea is a geopolitical region where the interests of a number of the world and regional powers collide. It is rich with natural and energy resources. 90 per cent of all sturgeon species live in the sea. Based on geological exploration data, the sea contains total oil reserves of 68 billion barrels. The establishment of the legal status of the Caspian Sea is based on the strategic and stable development of the littoral states and the regional economic growth. The Caspian Sea is becoming the territory of peace and cooperation.

NURSULTAN NAZARBAYEV, PRESIDENT OF KAZAKHSTAN:

- The document identifies and regulates the rights and obligations of the parties in relation to the Caspian Sea, including its water, bottom, subsoil reserves, natural resources and airspace. The agreement includes the aspects of delineation of the national zones, jurisdiction, sovereignty, implementation of rights on subsoil use, transits and transportation, construction of pipelines, cables, environmental protection, biological resources of the Caspian Sea and other aspects. The document also regulates security aspects in terms of the response to current challenges, disaster prevention and management, as well as military activities of the Caspian states.

The legal status is strategically important for the five countries to implement political stability and develop the economies of the region. The agreement is also used to preserve and multiply natural resources.

NURSULTAN NAZARBAYEV, PRESIDENT OF KAZAKHSTAN:

- We have established territorial waters of 15 nautical miles and their external borders acquire the status of state. The 10-mile fishing zone is adjacent to territorial zones, where each state has exclusive rights for fishing. In order to preserve a unique population of biological resources, fisheries throughout the water area will be implemented based on agreed national quotas. Trunk pipelines and cables on the sea bottom might be laid following environmental requirements. An ecological system of the Caspian Sea and all its components will be under the world protection.

The agreement categorically prohibits the deployment of any military facilities in the region that do not belong to the five littoral Caspian states. In general, the convention provides an opportunity to address many topics of the environment, economy, transport and tourism. The settlement of the legal status contributes to the economic development of all littoral states. Leaders of the countries have set an important goal of increasing the mutual trade volume. Experts believe that the signed convention became an important diplomatic achievement.