Asianbangla Desk : The leaders of the five states bordering the resource-rich Caspian Sea signed a landmark deal yesterday on the legal status of the inland sea which boasts a wealth of oil and gas reserves and sturgeon. Afp, Aktau
The leaders of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan signed the agreement on the status of the inland sea, which has been disputed since the collapse of the Soviet Union rendered obsolete agreements between Tehran and Moscow.
The host, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, said before the signing that the leaders were “participants in a historic event.”
Russian leader Vladimir Putin, whose country was seen as driving the deal, said the convention had “epoch-making significance” and called for more military cooperation between the countries on the Caspian.
Nazarbayev said the convention allows for the construction of underwater oil and gas pipelines as well as setting national quotas for fishing and forbids any foreign military presence.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was quick to hail the clause that prevents non-Caspian countries from deploying military forces.
“The Caspian Sea only belongs to the Caspian states,” he said.
Putin also praised this clause, saying it would help “ensure the peaceful status of the Caspian Sea.”
The deal provides a means of delimiting national boundaries in the sea whose underground energy resources are estimated at 50 billion barrels of oil and just under 300 trillion cubic feet (8.4 trillion cubic metres) of natural gas.