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The legal status of the Caspian Sea

Gündem 23 Ağustos 2018
144

The legal status of the Caspian Sea, which is rich in oil and gas resources, has been determined for over twenty years. The leaders of Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, the five coasts of the Caspian Sea, agreed on the legal status of the sea by signing the agreement that has been worked on since 1996, at the summit of the Aktau port city.
Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the legal status of the Caspian Sea has not been fully established. For this reason, the coastal countries sometimes faced the ownership of mineral resources.
There will be no foreign troops in the Caspian.
According to the agreement, the Caspian Sea will be divided based on the principles such as the diving and subdivision areas, seaside, sea habitat, fishing areas and the use of resources. The negotiations were locked at the point where the Caspian was a sea or a lake. The Caspian Sea, where the special status will be given, will not be applied to the United Nations (UN) maritime agreement in 1982, and the depth of the water will be determined based on the lake principle.
The agreement also stipulates the ban on the presence of foreign military assets in the Caspian Sea, with the exception of five coastal states.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said “It is important that the agreement to ensure that the necessary sharing, maritime and fisheries, regulations of the military and political interactions of the participating countries, the use of the Caspian for peaceful purposes only, and the absence of military forces outside the regional powers”.
Consultations on the use of the Caspian Sea airspace will continue.
Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan have been negotiating since 1996 to get more shares from the Caspian, a full energy sea.
“The signing of the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea is a historical document, Azerbaijan has worked constructively and contributed at all stages of the preparation of this document, as well as other Caspian countries, in order for this document to be signed,” President IlhamAliyev said at the ceremony. “And before the signing of the Convention, the Caspian Sea was a sea of security, a sea of stability, and our relations, both bilateral and multilateral, were the guarantor of stability and security in the Caspian. There is a high level of cooperation, trust between the Caspian countries and this is the main guarantor of security and stability. Today, security and stability in the Caspian are determined by the Convention, which we signed. Naturally, this opens up broad prospects for close cooperation between the Caspian countries, addressing issues of an economic, transport nature, issues that will contribute to improving the living standards of our peoples. ”
Rouhani: Additional agreements needed.
In particular, the rights of the Caspian’s benthic region were also difficult to agree on.Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stated that although the legal status of the Caspian Sea has been determined in relation to benthic region restrictions, countries must make additional agreements.
Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev said that the signed agreement could be implemented to the extent that the Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan natural gas pipeline project, which Russia has opposed, will provide the desired environmental standards.Moscow stated that it is the environmental drawback of the pipeline that will bring Turkmenistan’s natural gas to Europe via Azerbaijan.
Nazarbayev pointed out that the agreement would open a new page in the history of the five-way trade union, saying, “In this context, we should accept the signing of the deal as the beginning of the business union between our countries under the new conditions”.
Cooperation protocols signed.
During the Summit of the 5th Caspian Countries held in Kazakhstan, issues of business, transportation, environment, security and other fields of cooperation were also discussed.
In addition to the agreements for the prevention of incidents in the Caspian Sea, protocols for organizing crime, fighting against terrorism and working together with the Caspian border security institutions were signed.
The ‘Caspian Fives’ also paid due attention to the implementation of decisions taken at previous meetings.
Since 1991, 50 meetings have been held.
The region’s countries related to the Caspian Sea have held close to 50 meetings since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The meeting in Aktau has been the fifth summit at the level of leaders since 2002.
The world’s largest closed sea, the Caspian, has about 50 billion barrels of oil and 300 trillion cubic meters of natural gas.
Signing the legal status of the Caspian Sea: Five countries agreed 20 years later.
Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan agreed on Sunday on the legal status of the Caspian Sea, which has not been reconciled for more than 20 years.
It is agreed that the Caspian Sea’s rich oil and natural gas reserves will be opened for further exploitation, the surface will be used jointly, and countries without coasts of the Caspian will not be allowed to conduct military activities in the region.
Accordingly, fishing, maritime, scientific research activities and pipeline layouts will be arranged according to the rules agreed upon by the parties. The five nations that came together in the city of Aktau, Kazakhstan, signed the contracts. Before the signing, the hosted country Kazakhistan’s president, Nursultan Nazarbayev has said that the leaders of five countries were “participants in a historic event”.
Russian President Vladimir Putin also called for a “groundbreaking development” of the deal, calling on the Caspian Sea more military cooperation between neighboring countries. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, close to 50 meetings have been held on the Caspian Sea. With the participation of the leaders, this level has been organized by the fifth since 2002.
Iran: The Caspian Sea belongs to the Caspian states.
The agreement was important in terms of the use of the ‘sea’ or ‘lake’ for the Caspian, as international legislation introduces different legal arrangements for both expressions.Although the agreement used the word ‘sea’ for the Caspian, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said earlier this week that it would recognize the ‘special legal status of the deal’. The Kremlin had stated for the agreement that a large part of the sea would remain in common use, but that it would require the division of sea and underground resources’.
Hassan Rouhani, the president of Iran, which has the least amount of sea area under the new agreement, said Sunday that the agreement is an “important document”, but also said it had not fully focused on the disagreements over the Caspian Sea.He also welcomed the fact that countries without a coast to the Caspian could not deploy military units in the region. Rouhani said, “The Caspian Sea belongs only to the Caspian states.”

Dr . Murteza HASANOĞLU

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