14.08.2018 | Signing of the Caspian Convention is historical step toward global energy security

August 12, 2018 became indeed historical date.After twenty years of talks, Caspian states adopted the Convention on Legal Status of Caspian Sea this day, which has already been named as the Caspian Constitution.

The document has been signed during the V Summit of the Heads of Caspian States in Aktau by the Presidents of Turkmenistan, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, the Azerbaijan Republic and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

In addition of the Convention, important international Agreements on trade, economic and transport cooperation and on prevention of incidents in Caspian Sea, which have been elaborated by the initiative of Turkmen leader Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, were adopted at the high-level meeting of the Governments of five countries.

Three Cooperation Protocols in security sphere related to the combating of organized crime, terrorism and cooperation of the Coastguards of Caspian states have also been signed.The first meeting of the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan dedicated to solution of the Caspian issues, particularly to coordination of the approaches to the development of the Convention on international and legal status of Caspian Sea was held in 1996. 8 similar meetings have been organized for the last 22 year of negotiation process.

The last one was held on the threshold of V Caspian Summit in Aktau on August 11, 2018.The countries have managed to achieve the consensus when agreeing on the text of the Convention, which indicates mutual respect and willingness t coordinated regulation of all coming issues.

The Convention of Legal Status of Caspian Sea will regulate the relations of all five Caspian states in the region.It says that seabed and subsoil of Caspian Sea will be divided by sectorial principle while the sea area into internal and territorial waters, fishing zones and common water space.

The Agreements on protection and rational use of water biological resources cooperation in prevention and response to emergency situations as well as in hydrometeorology, which were signed during the Astrakhan Summit in 2014, have entered into force.

Intergovernmental Commission on protection, rational use of water biological resources and management of such resources has started its work.Issues of consolidation of the cooperation in humanitarian sphere have been raised at the V Summit of the Heads of Caspian States.

The sides agreed to hold the consultation on development of the tourism in Caspian Sea and to organize cultural exchanges, media forums, youth assemblies and sport competitions. “We have to realize that we have largescale and important work ahead.

We will have to develop the algorithm of cooperation in certain directions”, - Azerbaijan International Agency “Trend” cited the words of the Head of Turkmenistan.President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov suggested to hold the first Caspian economic forum in Turkmenistan, which “has to be permanently working platform for multilateral economic dialog”, - Russian media “RIA- Novosti” and “Mir 24” cited the Turkmen leader.

Such forum has to be held on regular basis in every Caspian state in turn.Opening of regional transport and logistic centre for improvement of the efficiency of the partnership in transport in another important initiative of the Head of Turkmenistan, “RIA Novosti” mentions.

President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov also called the ecology as the priority objectives of cooperation in Caspian Sra, financial platform Investing.Com informs referring to the State News Agency of Turkmenistan.

Speaking at the V Summit of the Head of Caspian States in Aktau, the Leader of the Nation noted that the Frame work Convention on protection of marine environment of Caspian Sea has entered into force on the same day 12 years ago.

The signing of the Protocol on Environment Impact Assessment in transboundary context to the Tehran Convention is to become another step toward the improvement of the potential of partnership for protection of fragile ecosystems of Caspian Sea.

The Head of Turkmenistan laid special emphasis on the necessity of activation of scientific studies in Caspian Sea basin. “I am confident that today, economic activity in Caspian Sea requires strong scientific support.

In this regard, it is reasonable to sign five-sided agreements in the sphere of scientific researches in Caspian Sea” - International News Agency Kazinform cited the leader of Turkmenistan.

During the meeting of the Presidents Gurbanguly Berimuhamedov and Nursultan Nazarbayev, the objectives of bilateral cooperation under the International Fund for Saving of Aral Sea and agenda of the meeting of the heads of the states, founder of the Fund, which would be held in Avaza National tourist zone in the end of August have been discussed.

The Convention also gives opportunity to lay subsea cables and pipelines across Caspian Sea “under the conditions of the correspondence of the projects with ecological requirements and standards of international agreements, in which they participate”.

The text of the document says that only the countries that would have them crossing their territories are entitled to define their routes.This Provision received active response in international mass media. “After 22 years of negotiations, Russia, Iran, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan signed the Convention on giving of “special legal status” to Caspian Sea on August 12.

It means that Trans-Caspian gas pipeline subsea gas pipeline supplying Turkmen gas to Azerbaijan and farther to the markets of Western Europe, cannot be vetoed any longer”- independent specialized information platform “Natural Gas World” informs.

Today, the project of Trans-Caspian gas main is one of the main subjects of discussion in the world press.Independent news organization “Eurasianet” considers that the project of the pipeline requires further elaboration.

Analyst of Verisk Maplecroft Camilla Hegelund says on the pages of the Rigzone international internet media: “The Convention specifies that pipelines are the subject of bilateral negotiations between the countries its crosses.

Parallel ecological act means that other coastal states are able to make influence of infrastructural projects and to control ecological side of the project”.The Reuters has published analytical article on its website on the perspectives of further development of the relations of Caspian sates in oil and gas exploration and production.

Ashley Sherman, the Main Caspian analyst of energy consulting company Wood Mackenzie said in the article that the signing of the Convention is “the unprecedented milestone” for the region.

American financial and economic magazine Forbes elaborated on this idea, having noted that owing to the adoption of the Convention on Legal Status of Caspian Sea, the biggest world oil and gas companies Chevron, Exxon, Shell and BP would be able to increase the number of their projects in the region and “to compete with other big players in the market for new oil and gas deposits in Caspian Sea”. “Caspian Sea is rich with energy resources.

In addition to proven reserves, the US Geopolitical Service calculated that Caspian Sea contains another 20 billion barrels of oil and 243 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, which are yet to be explored.

After the signing of the Agreement on Caspian Sea, we can expect the reactivation of hydrocarbon sector of the region as the projects of exploration and production increases” the Forbes insists.

The BBC also thinks that international oil companies, which rushed to Caspian Sea in the 90s, would be able to develop its presence and to defrost some projects, which could not be carried out because of the disputes on legal status of Caspian Sea.

The mass media also highlighted the Provision of the Convention on non-admission of the military forces of other rather than Caspian States. “None of five countries is entitled to provide its territory to others for the use of such territory against any Caspian state in aggressive purposes” Rosbalt News Agency writes.

It means that the ports of Caspian States can be used as only as transit ports.Such decision is to reduce the tension in the region and to activate both intra and interregional economic cooperation.

It is worth mentioning that owing to this provision, the positions of Caspian ports including Turkmenbashy port the largest and most modern port in Caspian Sea, which is important transport and logistic hub of TRACECA corridor, the part of internationally recognized programme aimed at development of economic relations, trade and transport communication in Black Sea basin, Southern Caucasus and Central Asia, are growing.

The warships, submarines and other transport vessels of one of Caspian states, which cross territorial waters, are also not entitled to call to ports and drop the anchor within territorial waters of other state.

The exclusion is made only for the cases when “there is special authorization and it is necessary due to irresistible force or incidents or for provision of assistance to individuals, ships or aircrafts in distress” Azerbaijan portal Day.Az informs.

The signing of the Convention on Legal Status of Caspian Sea is important step toward the world energy security.All further issues in the region will be solved based on this documents and Agreements made at the V Caspian Summit.

Numerous internet sources cited the words of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov that Turkmenistan is ready for subject talks on all aspects of cooperation and further development of multilateral cooperation with its neighbours in Caspian Sea.

According to the experts of informational and analytical portal “Caspian Messenger”, Caspian countries are yet to regulate the issue of the delimitation of the sea.The Cooperation Protocol in Combating Illegal Fishing of Biological Resources, which is to support the protection of fish reserves of Caspian Sea and combating the poaching, the Cooperation Protocol against Illegal Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances requires further coordination and agreement.

After the V Summit of the Heads of Caspian States in Aktau and signing of the Convention on Legal Status of Caspian Sea, the Presidents of Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia have made the statement for the press.

Turkmen leader Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov highlighted the importance of signed document and expressed the hope for efficient fulfilment of its provisions.The establishment of five-sided mechanism of political consultations under the aegis of foreign ministers of the coastal states is stipulated for this fulfilment.

The Head of the State noted that current intergovernmental Agreements on cooperation in trade, economic and transport spheres, which were initiated by Turkmenistan at the IV Caspian Summit in Astrakhan in 2014, and the Protocols on combating terrorism, organized crime and cooperation of the Coastguard to the Agreement on Cooperation in Security in Caspian Sea would support the improvement of stability in the region.

Noting the importance of signed Agreement on Prevention of Incidents in Caspian Sea for improvement of trust and understanding between the coastal states, Turkmen leader again said that Caspian Sea has to remain the area of peace and good neighbourliness.

Leading mass media also informed that the next Caspian Summit will be held in Turkmenistan by the proposal of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.At the same time, the TASS introduced the statement of Turkmen leader that today, the significance of Caspian Sea goes far beyond its borders. “It turns into one of key centres of geopolitical and geo-economic processes, - the agency cites.

The necessity of consolidation of effort of the countries of the region and their close cooperation with international organizations is very urgent.Turkmenistan is ready for such work".

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