State Duma ratifies Russia-Azerbaijan agreement on delimitation of Caspian bottom

On Wednesday, the State Duma /the lower chamber of the Russian parliament/ ratified the Agreement between Russia and Azerbaijan "On delimitation of contiguous parts of the Caspian bottom".

When introducing the draft bill to the deputies, Russian Deputy Minister of Natural Resources Ivan Glumov pointed out that "the agreement determined the limits of the Russian share in using the sea resources". Glumov also pointed out that on June 7th, 2003 Azerbaijan had already completed all procedures necessary for the agreement's coming into force.

Head of the State Duma committee on CIS affairs and relations with countrymen Andrei Kokoshin pointed out that "the agreement created a firmer basis for future solutions to Caspian problems". According to him, ratification of the agreement will strengthen negotiating positions with Iran and Turkmenistan and is "vitally important for the whole system of relations in this region".

The agreement was signed in Moscow on September 23rd, 2002. The document establishes geographical position data of the line delimiting contiguous parts of the Caspian bottom and determines the order of both partners' economic activities in terms of using the sea's mineral resources.

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