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”