Fifth Caspian Summit in Aktau: view from Kazakhstan
The 5th Caspian Summit was held in Aktau yesterday, during which the heads of the Caspian states signed the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea, a document that had been prepared for 22 years.
Vestnik Kavkaza asked the Kazakh experts about the main results of the historic summit and changes the Caspian region will face.
Director of the Alternativa Center for Topical Studies Andrei Chebotarev, first of all, drew attention to the fact that the signed Convention means certain rules of the game for all the Caspian states.
"It is a question of expanding cooperation in specific areas. And almost all issues are of priority - ecology, economics and security. It is still difficult to say in which areas cooperation will be developed, because during all the past summits , I think, nine interstate agreements were agreed," the expert noted.
He added that the summit held on the territory of Kazakhstan has earned the country a certain international prestige. At the same time, the expert recalled that earlier Kazakhstan had already decided on border issues with virtually all its neighbors. "The issues were resolved with Russia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, in fact, this Convention fixes what Kazakhstan decided outside its framework," Andrei Chebotarev concluded.
The head of the Central Asia Department of the CIS Institute, Andrei Grozin, in the first place, noted that the Convention is inherently the Caspian Constitution, as the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev said yesterday.
According to him, the heads of state of the five Caspian countries adopted the basic solution, which will simplify the solution of disputable issues. "That is, from now on these issues will be decided at the level of the relevant departments in the working order. This is a huge plus, as since yesterday the Caspian Sea's entire foreign and domestic political situation and agenda have changed," the head of the Central Asia Department of the CIS Institute said.
In addition, he noted that with the signing of the Convention gave Kazakhstan new opportunities. "All the transport and logistics projects that Kazakhstan has tried to implement over the past 10 years, according to a number of Kazakh economists, did not give the expected effect. But now Kazakhstan received the opportunity to repel investment previously laid in these transport and logistics projects," Andrei Grozin explained.
He also focused on the fact that China will also have certain benefits from the signed Convention. "China received the opportunity for its One Belt, One Road strategy to have the Caspian Sea as one of three possible directions. That is, most of the barriers that existed for foreign business in the Caspian region are being removed," the expert specified.
At the same time, he stressed that fears of some new pipelines that will directly or indirectly damage Russia's business interests in Europe are groundless. "It is enough to read the Convention, which says that the construction of such serious infrastructure projects should be conditioned not only by the will of the states, but also by environmental standards," the head of the Central Asia Department of the CIS Institute concluded.