Fifth Summit of heads of state of the Caspian countries, defining the legal status of the Caspian sea, has become a great historical event, Member of the Council on State Support to NGOs under the auspices of President of Azerbaijan, Chairman of the International Relations Research Center, Philosophy Doctor of Political Sciences, Political Scientist Rufiz Gonagov told Trend Aug. 13.
"A summit on the status of the Caspian sea was held in the Kazakh city of Aktau with the participation of the presidents of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan. The signing of the Convention defining the legal status of the Caspian sea by the heads of state of the five Caspian countries was the result of discussions that lasted for 22 years. The summit agenda included three main issues: the legal status of the water basin, cooperation in the Caspian sea, regional and global security issues," the political scientist said.
He noted that the strong interest on a global scale has been shown in the signing of the Convention.
"A large number of reporters from around the world kept track of the summit. Of course, this is also conditioned by the geopolitical location of the Caspian sea, because the Caspian sea is not just a water basin, it contains billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic meters of confirmed gas reserves," he said.
Gonagov added that one of the most controversial issues of the long years of discussions was related to the dilemma whether the Caspian should be considered as a sea or a lake. This factor was decisive in determining its status. The general agreement has been reached on the status of the Caspian sea as the sea according to the signed Convention," Gonagov noted.
The political scientist also said that one of the important features of the Convention is that the Caspian countries can lay gas and oil pipelines on the seabed, for which it is sufficient only to obtain the permission of the countries owning the sector through which the pipeline passes, according to article 14 of the document. This gives a "green light" to transportation of hydrocarbon reserves of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan through Azerbaijan to Turkey and Europe, Gonagov noted.
"The Caspian states take direct responsibility for man-made accidents in their sectors according to the Convention. Only the naval fleets of the Caspian countries can navigate in the Caspian sea according to the agreement. Three additional protocols on mutual activities to combat organized crime, terrorism, as well as border protection were also signed within the framework of the summit," Gonagov said.
The political scientist added that the signing of this Convention will not only ensure stability in the Caspian region, but will further strengthen the role of Azerbaijan as an international transit country, increase its economic power.
The ceremony of signing documents was held Aug. 12 at the Fifth Summit of the heads of state of the Caspian countries in the Kazakh city of Aktau.
Convention on the legal status of the Caspian sea was signed by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Russia Vladimir Putin, President of Iran Hassan Rouhani and President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.