Political conjuncture, delimitation of the bottom, death of seals and man-made accidents. The heads of the Caspian countries discussed the situation in the Caspian Sea

On June 29, Ashgabat hosted the VI Summit of the heads of the Caspian countries.

Presidents of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov , Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev , Iran Ebrahim Raisi , Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Russia Vladimir Putin discussed issues of interaction between coastal countries in the Caspian Sea, the Turkmen state information agency TDH reports .

Berdimuhamedov in his speech highlighted several important issues for Turkmenistan: ensuring regional security, developing logistics networks through the Caspian region, as well as developing the Caspian Environmental Program.

Speaking about security, the head of Turkmenistan called for joint counteraction to terrorism, drug trafficking, organized crime and poaching.

To develop logistics, the countries of the region should build and modernize port infrastructure, Berdymukhammedov said, and "specially" stressed that the Caspian region should be free from political conjuncture .

“Against the backdrop of all the current difficulties and contradictions in global politics, the Caspian countries need to maintain unity in understanding common goals, common destiny and destiny,” the president said.

Touching upon environmental issues, Serdar Berdimuhamedov noted that Turkmenistan had already come up with the idea of creating a New Caspian Environmental Program and called on the summit participants to support this work.

According to the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea adopted in 2018, it is possible to lay pipelines along the bottom of the reservoir only after the approval of the project by all five countries, which must be convinced of its environmental safety.

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The President of Azerbaijan also spoke in favor of solving environmental problems and developing logistics routes in the Caspian and in the region, while touching upon the military conflict in Karabakh, which took place in 2020.

“After the Victory in the Patriotic War (the official name in Azerbaijan of the Second Karabakh War, which took place in September-November 2020 - HT note) and the resolution of the conflict with Armenia, Azerbaijan began to carry out large-scale work on the reconstruction and restoration of Karabakh and Eastern Zangezur, including including in the development of international transport links,” Aliyev said.

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The President of Iran, in turn, noted the need to protect the fragile environment and rationally use the mineral resources of the Caspian Sea. The parties must respect each other's sovereignty and rights in the waters of the sea and make decisions on the Caspian Sea in a coordinated manner, Raisi said, adding that these agreements would exclude third-party interference in the Caspian countries and help prevent aggression and "unpleasant incidents."

The states of the region should strive for five-sided cooperation and avoid making unilateral decisions , the Iranian leader said.

Raisi also touched upon the topic of the Convention, which Iran has not yet signed. To ratify the document, it is necessary to finalize and clearly define the rules for delimiting the bottom and water area of the Caspian , the president said.

The problem of dividing the day of the Caspian lies in its status. If a body of water is regarded as a sea , then the median line method should be used . However, in this case, Iran will receive a much smaller share than if the Caspian were recognized as a lake . The bottom of the lakes is divided into sectors that start from the center of the reservoir and continue to the borders of the state. Thus, Iran would have received one of the largest parts, including large hydrocarbon deposits.

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The President of Kazakhstan expressed his concern about the growing geopolitical tension.

“In the context of an unprecedented “global storm”, the special importance of the Caspian Sea is growing due to its geostrategic location, the presence of the richest natural resources, as well as the unique transit potential,” Tokayev said.

He called for the early entry into force of the Convention, emphasizing that in Kazakhstan "the positions of the parties are understood with understanding."

Tokayev spoke about the increase in trade with Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Iran, as well as the growth in the number of transit traffic. He said that construction of wholesale distribution centers with a developed system of warehousing, storage and sale of food products has begun in Kazakhstan and proposed the creation of a Caspian food hub integrated with these centers , which will open up new opportunities for effective cooperation between farmers, buyers, carriers, sellers and consumers .

Touching upon environmental issues, Tokayev called the preservation of the Caspian ecosystem one of the key areas of cooperation.

“Active exploitation of the subsoil and transportation of resources bear great risks for the ecology of the region. In addition, the challenges of global warming and related climate change pose a threat to water resources,” the head of Kazakhstan noted, adding that the government, together with the Russian Federation, “is making great efforts to prevent an environmental disaster on the common water artery for the countries of the region.”

As an example of environmental problems, the president cited the plight of the Caspian seals, the facts of the periodic death of which cause serious concern.

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Vladimir Putin also spoke about the growth in trade with the Caspian countries and about the possibilities for developing the 7,200-kilometer international North-South transport corridor from St. Petersburg to the ports of Iran and India.

“The Five have great opportunities for cooperation in the energy sector. Agreements are already being implemented on the joint exploitation of oil and gas fields in the waters of the Caspian Sea”

Touching upon the topic of ecology, the head of the Russian Federation expressed concern about the shallowing of the reservoir, a sharp reduction in sturgeon species, as well as possible man-made accidents.

“It would be advisable to build up joint capabilities for prompt response to natural man-made events and phenomena that can negatively affect the life and well-being of people in the region,” Putin said.

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As a result of the meeting, the parties signed a joint communiqué outlining the positions of the five Caspian states. The full text of the document is available on the website of the state news agency TDH.

The next, seventh summit will be held in Iran.

Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan