Caspian Sea nations to sign landmark deal

Frederick Owens
August 15, 2018

The signing ceremony was held in Aktau, Kazakhstan, after a meeting between the five leaders on Sunday.

The establishment of United States military bases at the Caspian Sea is "out of question", Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov told Sputnik."Some representatives of Russian media and expert communities do not have a firm grasp of facts on the real situation regarding the transit of U.S. non-military cargo via Kazakhstan ..."

The convention emphasizes that the Caspian Sea belongs to all littoral states, prohibiting establishment and handing over of any kind of military bases to foreign countries. The port will be capable of handling heavy-duty vessels with a payload of 15,000-25,000 tonnes.

The leaders of the five states bordering the resource-rich Caspian Sea signed a landmark deal Sunday on the legal status of the inland sea which boasts a wealth of oil and gas reserves and sturgeon.

The Kremlin has said the convention keeps most of the sea in shared use but divides up the seabed and underground resources.

He also said that one of the very important achievements of the Caspian Sea Legal Regime Convention was that it ensures security and stability in the sea.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with Kazakhtan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev (L) during their meeting at the 5th Caspian Summit in Aktau on August 12, 2018.

Presidents of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation met on the margins of Caspian Sea Littoral States Summit in Kazakhstan and discussed the most important bilateral, regional, and global issues.

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"Today, the heads of the five Caspian Sea littoral states signed a document but until its finalization, it requires legal processes and in Iran, it must be approved by the Islamic Consultative Assembly", continued the President.

Its seabed is estimated to hold 50 billion barrels of oil and nearly 8.4 trillion cubic metres of natural gas.

The three countries have tried to develop the disputed fields while at times using warships to scare off contractors hired by other sides.

According to the agreement, an area of 15 nautical miles from the coast will be regarded as each respective country's territory.

The Caspian basin is seen as an important source of oil for world markets outside the Middle East.

"Disputes arose when the Caspian was a frontier oil province", said John Roberts, a non-resident senior fellow at Atlantic Council's Eurasia Center, while it is "now well established, with major fields approaching peak. production".

They also agreed to decide how to share the Caspian's energy resources through further agreements.

Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev said the convention would set the quotas for fishing and forbid any foreign military presence.

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