Azerbaijan, Russia Hold Consultations On Caspian Sea Status

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Azerbaijan and Russia agree that the Convention on the Caspian Sea status, the adoption of which is expected by the Caspian littoral states, should ensure the sovereign rights of each of the five littoral states and meet their interests.

This was announced during the Azerbaijani-Russian consultations on the legal status of the Caspian Sea, which took place in Moscow on April 10, the Azerbaijani Embassy in Russia told Trend.

The consultations were chaired by Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Khalaf Khalafov and Special Envoy of the Russian President, Ambassador-at-Large Igor Bratchikov.

The sides exchanged views on the implementation of the agreements reached during the Baku meeting of the special working group of the Caspian countries on the status of the sea held on February 25-26, and then continued discussions on open issues.

Determining the legal status of the Caspian Sea has become one of the problematic issues among the five littoral states – Azerbaijan, Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan since demise of the Soviet Union.

The legal status have been remained unsolved during the past two decades, preventing development and exploitation of its disputable oil and gas fields and creating obstacles to the realization of major energy projects.

The Caspian littoral states signed a Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea in November 2003.

Russia and Kazakhstan signed an agreement on the delimitation of the northern part of the Caspian Sea in order to exercise sovereign rights for subsoil use in July 1998. The two countries signed a protocol to the agreement in May 2002.

Moreover, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan signed an agreement on the delimitation of the Caspian Sea and a protocol to it in November 2001, and February 2003, respectively.

Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Russia signed an agreement on the delimitation of adjacent sections of the Caspian Sea on May 14, 2003.

By Amina Nazarli, 
Amina Nazarli is AzerNews’ staff journalist