Caspian states set to ratification of Convention on Legal Status of Caspian Sea

ASTANA. KAZINFORM Caspian-littoral states began intra-state procedures required for the ratification of the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea, according to First Deputy FM Mukhtar Tleuberdi, Kazinform reports.

Today's extended meeting of the Senate Committee for International Relations, Defense and Security discussed the bill ‘On ratification of the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea.'

"As per the existing information, all the Caspian-littoral states have already launched intra-state procedures needed for the Convention's ratification. On December 14, the Turkmen side informed of the completion of ratification of the document," said Mukhtar Tleuberdi.
He reminded that the Convention was signed August 12, 2018 in Aktau by the presidents of Kazakhstan, Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, and Turkmenistan during the 5th Caspian Summit.

"25-year-long negotiations, five top-level meetings, seven ministerial conferences, 52 meetings of the ad hoc working group at the level of deputy foreign ministers as well as tens of other meetings preceded the signing of the document," he noted.

Mukhtar Tleuberdi added that the sides had agreed on non-presence of armed forces not belonging to the Parties [Party to Convention] in the Caspian Sea. The water zone was divided into internal waters, territorial waters, a fishery zone and common maritime space where various legal regimes will be in effect.

"The breadth of territorial waters must not exceed 15 nautical miles, the outer limit of which shall be the state border. Each Party has a 10 nautical miles-wide fishery zone adjacent to the territorial waters where each country enjoys an exclusive right to harvest aquatic biological resources. Delimitation of internal and territorial waters between States with adjacent coasts shall be effected by agreement between those States with due regard to the principles and norms of international law," the Convention reads.

According to the Deputy FM, the Convention stipulates also the Parties' rights to build cables and pipelines on the bed of the Caspian Sea given that their projects comply with environmental standards and requirements embodied in the international agreements to which they are parties.

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