Experts not believe in quick solution of Caspian status

Aug. 19. Trend Capital

Experts not believe in quick solution of Caspian statusThe issue of defining a legal status of the Caspian Sea will not be solved in the near future, experts believe.

“One can expect intensification of the talks on this issue in the near future, but it is too early to wait for a final decision and adoption of a convention on this matter,” Chief Editor of the Kommersant newspaper Azar Mursalov told Trend Capital in a telephone conversation from Moscow.

This week the Russian president at a meeting on the Caspian cooperation has urged to intensify negotiations on the status of the Caspian Sea. He said “Russia is vitally interested in the fact that the Caspian Sea will continue to be a zone of good-neighborliness, stability and mutually beneficial cooperation, and in this regard, it is necessary to intensify the negotiating process to define the legal status of the Caspian Sea.”

Mursalov said this statement is not the first by the Russian President. It is possible to adopt this kind of an agreement only with agreement of all parties, he said. “But as practice shows, it is too difficult for the five countries to agree on this issue,” said Mursalov. The coastal countries do not need to resolve the status of the Caspian Sea, Russian experts said.

An interim solution to this issue has already been found – that the bilateral agreement between Russia and Azerbaijan, Russia and Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, said Mursalov. That is, a “working model” exists. But the issue of adopting the improved and profitable models can be discussed for years.

The countries’ positions on the Caspian Sea are not only far, but also fundamentally contradict one another. It is too difficult to convince Iran, and the country will not concede its position, Mursalov believes. 

An analyst of Unicredit Securities investment company, belonging to the UniCredit Group international financial group, Pavel Sorokin believes that such statements are more political games. In his view, Russia’s influence in the region is not enough large to wait for accelerating of the solution to the Caspian status.

“Russia’s role in the Caspian Sea is not so great, except its role as a transit country, and its role decreased after emergence of the Nabucco gas pipeline, Sorokin said to Trend Capital in a telephone conversation from Moscow. “And at present efforts are being made to strengthen its reduced influence, as well as to interest other parties in the partnership.”

Independent Political Analyst Rasim Musabeyov believes that the issue of determining the status of the Caspian Sea will remain on the agenda, but the issue will not reach a conflict situation.

Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan must hold bilateral talks to solve the issue of the status, the political scientist said.

“It can be the most efficient to hold bilateral talks,” Musabeyov said.