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News // Politics

Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan signed a convention on the Caspian Sea's legal status

13 August 2018 , 17:22Neftegaz.RU789

Aktau, August 13 - Neftegaz.RU. Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan signed a landmark convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea in Kazakhstan, after over 2 decades of negotiation.

 

The 1st meeting of the Caspian states' leaders was held in 2002 in Ashgabat, capital of Turkmenistan. The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed water body on Earth by area, either classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea.

 

The countries reached a breakthrough agreement on sovereign rights to the sea, paving the way for new oil and gas extraction and pipelines.

 

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said before the signing that the leaders were «participants in a historic event.» «We can admit that consensus on the status of the sea was hard to reach and not immediate, the talks lasted more than 20 years and called for a lot of joint efforts from the parties,» Nazarbayev said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said from the summit that littoral states formulated a modern legal foundation outlining the rules and obligations for the Caspian Sea. «We are facing serious and interesting tasks,» he said. «And we are intent on consistently solving them.»

 

Turkmen leader Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov greeted the deal enthusiastically as his country wants to send gas to markets in Europe via a long-planned Trans-Caspian underwater pipeline.

 

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said border delimitation would require further work and separate agreements, although the convention would serve as a basis for that. The Iranian president said the convention bans the presence of foreign armed forces and does not allow foreigners to use the territories of the littoral states for acts of aggression against another littoral state.

 

Speaking to reporters after the signing the deal Sunday, all 5 leaders praised it as historic event, but provided little detail about provisions on splitting the seabed.

 

To read the news in Russian.

 

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