Leaders of five Caspian states sign regional “constitution”
MOSCOW/AKTAU, Kazakhstan, Aug 13 (PRIME) -- The leaders of the five Caspian states including Russia signed a convention on the sea’s legal status at a summit in Kazakhstan’s city of Aktau, the Kremlin said in a statement on August 12.
The issue had been discussed for 22 years, and Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev called it the Caspian Sea “Constitution” which is to guarantee the region’s security.
The document envisages that most of the sea’s water surface will remain in shared use of the members while the seabed and the subsurface resources will be divided by neighboring states into sections basing on the international law.
Maritime traffic, fish catching, scientific researches and laying of main pipelines will be performed according to the rules agreed by the parties. The environmental factor is obligatory for consideration while implementing large-scale offshore projects.
The convention prohibits any military presence of third states. It makes the five states responsible for the regional security and envisages that none of them will have the right to grant their territories as a platform for military aggression against a member state by a non-regional player.
The Caspian states will define the combined limit of fish catching in the sea and the national quotas. President Vladimir Putin said Russia supports prolongation of the current sturgeon catch moratorium.
The states will also have the right to build artificial islands in the sea.
The parties agreed to establish a permanent consultation mechanism involving deputy foreign ministers which will meet at least once a year. The first meeting of the body will take place no later than in six months.
The states also established the Caspian Economic Forum which will be held once a year with the first summit scheduled to take place in Turkmenistan in 2019.
Besides the convention, the members signed six agreements in the spheres of transportation, economic and trade cooperation and prevention of sea accidents.
Putin said that it is also important for the members to design a marine transport agreement and agree on measures to fight drug trafficking in the region.
He added that the launch of the International North–South Transport Corridor, which implies connection of railroads of Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia, will speed up cargo deliveries from Europe to Central Asia and the Middle East 2.5-fold.