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Putin to depart to Aktau to fix Caspian Sea status after 22 years of talks

August 12, 2018, 7:42 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Caspian is a unique phenomenon from the standpoint of international law

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MOSCOW, August 12. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend the fifth Caspian Summit in Aktau, Kazakhstan, the Kremlin’s press service said. Presidents of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan are anticipated to discuss key aspects of cooperation in the Caspian Region and progress in implementation of decisions made at earlier meetings. The key event of the summit should be signing of the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea, which was discussed since 1996.

Caspian issue

The Caspian is a unique phenomenon from the standpoint of international law. It is a landlocked body of water not linked with the world ocean and for this reason it is not a sea, but by virtue of its size and special features of its water and seabed it cannot be considered a lake, either. For this reason, maritime law and rules adopted for trans-border lakes are not applicable to it.

In order to address the issue of delimitation of the Caspian’s bed and water areas the littoral states in 2002 for the first time held a summit in Ashgabat for determining its status. Sixteen years on the work is nearing completion.

It is expected that on the summit meeting’s agenda there will be six agreements on regional problems, drafted at the level of foreign ministers and their deputies. The use of subsoil reserves, security and ecology are in the focus of the Caspian quintet’s documents. Over the past sixteen years only nine agreements have been signed.

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