Caspian Sea Agreement The Hindu

The five coastal states reached consensus on the legally binding management of the Caspian Sea through special working groups of an agreement on the legal status of the Caspian Sea. [71] On the eve of a Caspian summit, the 51st Special Working Group was held in Astana in May 2018 and reached consensus on several agreements: transport cooperation agreements; Trade and economic cooperation; Preventing incidents at sea The fight against terrorism; The fight against organised crime; And cooperation in the area of border security. [72] Of greater importance to Western energy companies, the agreement provides rules for the construction of large cross-border projects such as a Trans-Caspian pipeline. This means that there are, at least officially, political obstacles to this long-discussed project, and that its implementation depends exclusively on economic and security factors. That is why there were many – and fierce – differences of opinion on how to share some of its huge oil and gas fields. Warships have sometimes been used to discourage entrepreneurs hired by rival countries. The convention gives each neighbouring country the jurisdiction of 24 km of territorial waters as well as 16 km of exclusive surface fishing rights, the rest being international waters. On the other hand, the seabed remains undefined, subject to bilateral agreements between countries. Thus, the Caspian Sea is neither a sea nor a sea legally.

[73] The presidents of the five countries with coastal data on the Caspian Sea – Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan – agreed in August on the legal status of the sea after 22 years of negotiations. U.S. sanctions against Iran have somewhat devalued the importance of the agreement, particularly with regard to the implementation of economic projects in the region. However, the agreement can become the basis of a regional security system and provide the international legal basis for the creation of a good neighbourhood. This greatly reduces the risk of regional conflicts. It is significant that Kazakhstan`s president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, said on Sunday that the latest agreement mimicked setting national fishing quotas. The basis of all differences of opinion is therefore who has access to what. This is important because… Following the summit, there are still a few questions to be developed in the years to come. The most promising trend is dialogue between Iran and Azerbaijan.

Countries are on the road to activating cooperation, including in the energy sector. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani`s official visit to Baku in March resulted in a tentative agreement on the joint exploitation of oil and gas fields. New common energy projects in the region are to be expected, but they cannot be developed without Western technologies due to geological difficulties. Thus, U.S. sanctions have become a serious obstacle to deepening cooperation between Azerbaijan and Iran. According to unofficial information, SOCAR, the national oil group Azerbaijan, has informally suspended the implementation of its agreements with Iran. Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan have bilateral agreements based on middle lines. Because of their use by the three nations, the middle lines seem to be the most likely method to delimit the territory in future agreements. However, Iran insists on a single multilateral agreement between the five nations (with a goal of one-fifth). Azerbaijan disagrees with Iran over some offshore oil deposits. Occasionally, Iranian patrol boats fired on ships sent by Azerbaijan to explore the disputed area.

Similar tensions exist between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan (the latter claims that the former pumped more oil than had been agreed by a field recognized as divided by both sides). Differences of opinion on their legal status have also prevented the construction of a gas pipeline by the Caspian Sea between Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan. This would have allowed Turkmen gases to bypass Russia on the way to Europe.

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