Caspian Sea

Caspian countries discuss transport agreement in Ashgabat

Azer News – Authorized representatives of the Caspian states come together in Ashgabat to discuss the draft agreement on cooperation in the field of transport in the Caspian Sea.

The Turkmen Foreign Ministry reported that new regulations and rules are designed to regulate the movement of cargo and passengers between the Caspian states, ensure the development of infrastructure and approve legal norms, taking into account the interests of all participants.

“The development of the draft agreement on cooperation between the Caspian states in the field of transport, which provides for the establishment of the Caspian Regional Transport and Logistics Center, is aimed at maximizing the potential of the Caspian Sea that will open up prospects for expanding trade and economic relations between coastal countries and their access to world markets,” the ministry said.

The territories of Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Iran and Turkmenistan represent a natural geographical area which connects Asia with Europe and ensures efficient functioning of transport-transit and trade corridors along the East-West and North-South directions.

The Caspian Sea is surrounded by the five coastal countries of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan. The Sea has a total surface area of 371,000 km², holding 78,200 cubic km of water.

The legal status of the Caspian Sea has 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 projects.

Russia, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan hold to the principle of dividing into national sectors based on the “median line” principles since it is an international boundary lake, and leaving the sea surface for general use, i.e. they are for demarcation of mineral resources and the Caspian Sea shelf, but against dividing up its waters.

Iran seeks an equal division of the Caspian into 5 even sectors, mainly because most of the offshore energy resources are located away from the Iranian coastline. Turkmenistan also demands the division of the Sea into equal parts between the pre-Caspian countries so that each country has 20 percent of the sea.

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