Russia urges Caspian Littoral States to sign Convention on Caspian Sea legal status

Russia urges Caspian Littoral States to sign Convention on Caspian Sea legal status

On the eve of Caspian Littoral States Meeting in Russia, the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement, urging ministers to focus their attention on Convention on Caspian Sea legal status.

"Ministers' will focus on documents regulating five-way cooperation in the Caspian region in various fields, including economy, transport, military navigation, safety of navigation and a number of other issues," the statement said.

Heads of Foreign Ministries of Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan will exchange views on the most pressing regional and international problems. Among them is preparation for the 5th Caspian Summit in Kazakhstan.

"Russia highly appreciates traditionally confidential, friendly nature of the dialogue within the framework of the Caspian Five," the Ministry added.

As political analyst Rovshan Ibrahimov noted in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza, signing of the Convention on Caspian Sea legal status requires political will of the Caspian Five.

"The fact is that this convention has already been agreed upon both at the level of experts and at the level of officials, but it hasn't been signed so far. That's because defining its status requires political, and resolving legal issues is not enough," he said.

However, head of the Department of Central Asia and Kazakhstan at the Institute of CIS Countries, Andrey Grozin, named a number of reasons why it would be beneficial for the Caspian Five to sign Convention on Caspian Sea legal status at this meeting.

"Judging by the ongoing process of harmonization and by what is being said by all countries of the Caspian Five, this convention will likely be signed. Caspian states are becoming increasingly interested in reducing degree of mutual distrust and want to implement various economic projects, which can begin only after this convention will be signed," he expects.