Foreign troops not welcome at world's second largest oil field

As a result of the Caspian summit in Astrakhan, which was held with the participation of presidents of Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, a joint document consisting of 19 paragraphs was adopted. The document states, inter alia, that the "Caspian Five" does not want to see the troops of other countries within the water area of the region.

"The right to stay in the Caspian Sea is a sole prerogative of the armed forces of coastal countries. This regime has been formed here historically, and we are not going to change it," Russian President Vladimir Putin said as a result of the summit, Interfax reports.

"In general, we are going to deal with all issues in the region exclusively within the scope of the five countries that hold sovereign rights in relation to the Caspian Sea and its resources," said Putin.

According to ITAR-TASS, the leaders of the five countries agreed to respect the sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence, sovereign equality of the states, non-use of force or threat of force, mutual respect, cooperation and non-interference in the internal affairs of one another.

The signed document also states that the Caspian Sea should be used "for peaceful purposes," and its waters should be turned into "a zone of peace, good-neighborliness, friendship and cooperation." The parties agreed to resolve all issues related to the Caspian Sea by peaceful means.

The signed memorandum establishes the "national sovereignty of each side of the coastal sea space within 15 nautical miles, as well as exclusive rights for each party to extract water biological resources within adjacent ten nautical miles, followed by common water space."

The parties also reaffirmed readiness to comply with "agreed confidence-building measures in the field of military activities in the spirit of predictability and transparency, in accordance with common effort to strengthen regional security and stability."

Among other things, the signed document stipulates for the "delimitation of the seabed and subsoil of the Caspian Sea on the basis of universally recognized principles and norms of international law in order to implement sovereign rights of the parties on the use of mineral resources and other legitimate economic and business activities."

"I join my colleagues, who believe that this summit is a breakthrough, - Putin said. - It is true, we have agreed on the principles of cooperation, solution of key issues of interaction in the Caspian region and we fixed them in the appropriate statement. This is really a breakthrough."

According to Putin, the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea may soon be signed. "I wouldn't say that all questions have been fully resolved, but their number has considerably decreased. Experts were tasked to intensify consultations on several remaining issues, and there is every reason to believe that in the near future, we will sign the convention," said Putin.

Currently, the five Caspian states only follow the agreement on the necessity of signing the convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea. The work on the document started 15 years ago. The Caspian Sea comes second after the Persian Gulf in terms of oil and gas reserves.

At the Caspian summit in Astrakhan, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev offered to create the "Caspian free trade zone" between the countries that access the sea. In addition, Nazarbayev offered the Caspian countries to use routes in Kazakhstan to deliver goods to the markets of other countries, especially China.

"The governments of our countries may consider entering into an intergovernmental agreement. In our view,this will be mutually beneficial to all parties," said Nazarbayev.

"This year, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran intend to finally connect the adequate railway. We create all necessary conditions for the conversion of the territory of Kazakhstan into the largest Eurasian business and transit hub," said the president of Kazakhstan.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani arrived at the summit, on 28 September. Vladimir Putin thanked his Iranian counterpart for the position, which made it possible to achieve good results at the summit.

"We have worked productively in the Caspian summit, achieved good results, owing , among other things, to the position of your delegation, your position," Putin said.


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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov