A special working group consisting of foreign ministers of five Caspian states - Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan - gathered for a session in Baku on February 26-27 to consider three of the 22 articles of the Convention on the States of the Caspian Sea, the Russian president's special envoy for Caspian issues Viktor Kalyuzhny reported on Friday.
In an interview published by the Moscow-based newspaper Vremya Novostei, Kalyuzhny confirmed that Russia did not agree with Iran's view of Caspian division. According to his words, there are "concrete constructive proposals" in the Iranian version of the Convention, but they "get all crossed out" by Iran's claims to a 20% share in the future division of the sea.
The principle of the condominium, i.e. division of the sea into five equal parts, was earlier supported by Russia but was nixed after Russia and Kazakhstan reached an agreement last year on division of the northern shelf of the Caspian, explained the Russian diplomat.
There are several versions of the recent assassination of the most prominent Iranian nuclear scientist and high-ranking officer of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh