The long-awaited Caspian Convention to be signed

The long-awaited Caspian Convention to be signed

President Vladimir Putin has signed an order approving the draft Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea, TASS reports. In particular, the Russian foreign ministry is allowed to make non-principle alterations into the draft document.

The Draft Convention defines and regulates the rights and obligations of all five Caspian littoral states with respect to the use of the Caspian Sea, including its waters, bottom, subsoil, natural resources and airspace over the sea. It should be recalled, the document states that the littoral states have the right to establish territorial waters not exceeding 15 nautical miles from the coast. At the same time, the delimitation of internal and territorial waters between the Caspian countries is carried out on the basis of interstate agreements, taking into account the norms of international law.

A further 10 nautical miles are defined as exclusive fishing zones. Their demarcation is carried out by agreement between neighboring countries having adjoining coasts. Each Caspian state has an exclusive right to fish in the zone defined by the Convention.

According to the Convention, Caspian countries have the right to conduct scientific research in their territorial waters, fishing zone, and to develop the resources of the seabed and subsoil.

For this purpose, they can lay underwater cables, gas and oil pipelines, but subject to their compliance with the requirements of international environmental standards.

The Convention will create a legal basis for cooperation between Caspian littoral states in such areas as ecology, energy, transport, bio resources production, etc., as well as establish a legal regime of the Caspian Sea water areas and its seabed, rights and obligations of littoral states.

Three agreements – on cooperation in trade, economic and transport, initiated by the Turkmen side, and on prevention of incidents in the Caspian Sea, initiated by the Russian side are expected to be signed at the Fifth Summit of the Caspian States in Kazakhstan.