Results of Aktau Summit
The Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea, which was being developed for 20 years, covers details related to the common management of the sea. The objective of the document is to ensure regional stability and preserve the bioresources of the sea. The final text of the document was approved by the foreign ministries of the Caspian states in December last year. The translation of the Convention into Kazakh, Azerbaijani, Turkmen, and Persian took nine months. The text was also translated into English as it is a universal language that can be used in case of misinterpretation of the context.
SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER:
- The most important factor is that the Convention identified the legal status of the Caspian Sea and laid the basis for the final settlement of the unresolved issues, including delimitation of water. The convention also covers methods for identification of the baselines for the 15-mile sovereign waters that will also be used to identify the 10-mile fishing zone for every country.
The countries had previous agreements on the preservation of bioresources and security. However, at the Aktau Summit, the littoral states signed international legal agreements in addition to the main document.
ZULFIYA AMANZHOLOVA, AMBASSADOR-AT-LARGE, KAZAKH FOREIGN MINISTRY:
- The Convention opens new opportunities. We have been cooperating on the environment for a long time as part of the preparation of the Caspian Sea’s environmental protection agreement. There are four protocols signed in addition to this convention covering preservation of biological diversity, pollution from land-based sources and assessment of environmental impact. The parties also signed an agreement on the rational use of the Caspian Sea’s bioresources and established an intergovernmental commission on fishing in the Caspian Sea.
Moreover, the countries signed also signed agreements on trade and economic cooperation and transportation. The officials believe that the agreement will increase the cooperation among the business organizations of the five countries. The sixth Caspian Summit, which will be held in 2019, will prove the countries’ readiness for partnership. The next meeting is expected to be held in Turkmenistan.