CASPIAN SEA DEAL was concluded in the Kazakh city of Aktaun recently. Leaders of the five states bordering the resource-rich Caspian Sea signed a landmark deal on its legal status.

  • Countries involved: Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan.
  • Features of the Deal:
    • It is an agreement on the status of the inland sea, which has been disputed since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
    • It will ease regional tensions and potentially facilitating lucrative oil and gas projects.
    • The deal goes some way to settling a long-lasting dispute on whether the Caspian is a sea or a lake. While the convention refers to the Caspian as a sea, provisions in the agreement give it “a special legal status”,
    • The convention keeps most of the sea in shared use but divides up the seabed and underground resources.
    • Iran, who ended up with the smallest share of the sea, is viewed as a potential loser in the deal. But the convention seen as vital to break Iran’s sense of economic isolation after US sanctions. Russia consider these sanctions as “economic warfare”

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