Russia and Azerbaijan Agree on Delimitation of Caspian Sea Floor - 25 September, 2002

Russian and Azerbaijani Presidents Vladimir Putin and Geidar Aliev signed a bilateral agreement on Monday On The Delimitation of Adjoining Sectors of The Caspian Sea Floor. According to the President's press department, the agreement divides the Caspian floor between Russia and Azerbaijan along a central line, which has been drawn along equidistant points and modified with the agreement of both sides. It also takes into account universally acknowledged principles of international law and long-standing practice in the Caspian area.

The document also establishes the geographical coordinates of the delimitation line for adjoining sectors of the Caspian Sea floor between Russia and Azerbaijan for 'the exertion of sovereign rights over mineral resources and other lawful economic activity to exploit the contents of the sea floor'.

The press department claimed that, taking into account the agreement on the Caspian signed in May between Russia and Kazakhstan, and the agreement between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, cooperation between the three countries in exploiting mineral resources in the central and northern sectors of the Caspian has now acquired a solid foundation in international law.

According to Vladimir Putin, the acceptance of the formula by which the floor is divided up but the waters remain common, together with the principle of negotiating points in stages, will ultimately lead to a mutually beneficial solution to the problem of the Caspian Sea's status, which takes into account the interests of all its bordering states.

The Russian and Azerbaijani Presidents also signed two intergovernmental agreements. The first concerns bilateral acknowledgement of educational certificates. The second endorses retaining specialised qualifications for firms and organisations involved in the production of military equipment. A further agreement On Economic and Technical Collaboration was signed by the Russian Ministry of Science and Industry and the Azerbaijani State Committee for Specialised Machine Building and Conversion.

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Author`s name Petr Ermilin