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ASHGABAT, April 01, /ITAR-TASS/. Participants in a specialized workgroup gather in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan on Tuesday to analyze the degree of readiness of a draft convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea.
This is the 36th meeting of the workgroup coordinating work on the document that started out in 1992.
The finalized document is expected to come under scrutiny at a summit of the heads of state of the five Caspian littoral countries in the southern Russian city of Astrakhan this autumn.
At the end of April, the document will be considered by foreign ministers of the five nations, who will also gather in Astrakhan.
The Russian delegation at the meeting in Ashgabat is led by the Russian President’s special envoy for the delimitation and demarcation of state borders, ambassador at large Igor Bratchikov.
In the coming two days, the workgroup will consider the draft versions of two five-sided agreements that were initiated by Turkmenistan. One of them deals with the maintenance and rational utilization of biological resources of the Caspian Sea and the other is related to cooperation to the prevention of emergency situations and elimination of their aftermaths.
“Turkmenistan occupies an active position in the process of drafting an optimal possible version of the convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea as a basic document, which is called upon to lay a reliable legal groundwork for relations among the Caspian littoral states,” Turkmenistani President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedow said earlier.
Definition of the sea’s legal status will enable Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan settle all the problems related to the utilization of energy and biological resources on the Caspian continental shelf.
Country leaders had the first meeting in Ashgabat in 2002. The second summit was held in 2007 in Teheran and the third, in 2010 in Baku.
The documents that the five nations have signed to date include a framework convention of protecting the marine environment of the Caspian Sea (2003) and an agreement on cooperation in the sphere of safety and security on the sea (2010).
To exercise the sovereign rights of the littoral countries to the utilization of natural resources, Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan signed an agreement in 2003 on the point of joint of the demarcation lines between adjoining sections of the Caspian Sea floor.