Senate ratified Convention on Caspian Sea Legal Status

ASTANA. KAZINFORM The Law "On Ratification of the Caspian Sea Legal Status Convention" was discussed at a plenary session of the Senate today.

The Convention was signed August 12, 2018 in the city of Aktau by the presidents of Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Russia, and Turkmenistan.

"The document named by the Kazakh Leader as ‘the Constitution of the Caspian Sea' has become a result of more than 20 years of negotiations among the Caspian-littoral states. 5 high-level meetings, 7 ministerial conferences and 52 meetings of a special ad-hoc group, more than 10 various official and non-official meetings were held in total," Foreign Minister Beibut Atamkulov said presenting the bill.

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.

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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