The “Caspian Five” meeting involving leaders of Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Russia and Turkmenistan, will take in the Kazakh city of Aktau on August 12.
It’s expected that during the summit the sides will finalize the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea. Its draft was discussed and coordiated at the meeting of the Caspian Sea states’ foreign ministers on December 4-5, 2017 in the Russian capital of Moscow. A day ahead the summit, on August 11, top diplomats of the “Caspian Five” will also meet in Aktau.
The Caspian is the world’s largest enclosed body of water, rich in hydrocarbon deposits. Since the USSR collapse, its status have remained unclear causing a generation-long series of diplomatic wrangling. However, now it seems that a final agrement on the Caspian status is near.
Commenting on the upcoming summit, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said that the Caspian will be declared neither a sea nor a lake.
“The Caspian Sea will have special legal status because of a number of geographic, hydrological and other features,” Karasin said. “It is a continental body of water not directly connected to oceans so it cannot be considered to be a sea.”
Karasin noted that issues concerning the division of resources are resolved at bilateral and trilateral levels.
“In my view, agreements that Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, as well as Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, have made can serve as an example for conducting delimitation in the southern part of the Caspian Sea,” he said.