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News ID: 4876
Publish Date: 13 August 2018 - 09:42
On Sunday 12 August 2018, in Aktau, Kazakhstan, The leaders of the five states bordering the resource-rich Caspian Sea signed a landmark deal on the legal status of the inland sea which boasts a wealth of oil and gas reserves and sturgeon.
ECO-IEST: On Sunday 12 August 2018, in Aktau, Kazakhstan, The leaders of the five states bordering the resource-rich Caspian Sea signed a landmark deal  on the legal status of the inland sea which boasts a wealth of oil and gas reserves and sturgeon.

The leaders of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan signed the agreement on the status of the inland sea, which has been disputed since the collapse of the Soviet Union rendered obsolete agreements between Tehran and Moscow.

The host, 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 leader Vladimir Putin, whose country was seen as driving the deal, said the convention had "epoch-making significance" and called for more military co-operation between the countries on the Caspian. Nazarbayev said the convention allows for the construction of underwater oil and gas pipelines, as well as setting national quotas for fishing, and forbids any foreign military presence.

Non-Caspian military exclusion

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was quick to hail the clause that prevents non-Caspian countries from deploying military forces.

"The Caspian Sea only belongs to the Caspian states," he said.

Putin also praised this clause, saying it would help "ensure the peaceful status of the Caspian Sea".
The deal provides a means of delimiting national boundaries in the sea whose underground energy resources are estimated at 50 billion barrels of oil and just under 8.4 trillion cubic metres of natural gas. But Rouhani stressed several times during the summit that these boundaries still needed to be worked out between the countries.

Sunday’s summit was the fifth of its kind since 2002 but there have been more than 50 lower-level meetings since the Soviet breakup spawned four new countries on the shores of the Caspian.

The deal goes some way to settling a long-lasting dispute on whether the Caspian is a sea or a lake — which means it falls under different international laws.
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.

Turkmenistan's 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. The project is billed as allowing European countries to ease their dependence on gas from Russia at a time of heightened geopolitical confrontation.

Following the 5th Summit of the Heads of State of the Caspian littoral states, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Russia Vladimir Putin, President of Iran Hassan Rouhani and President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow had a walk on the sea shore in the city of Aktau and attended ceremony to release sturgeons into Caspian Sea.


Source: AKI Press

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