With the signing of the Convention on the status of the Caspian sea, a large number of projects that previously teetered on the verge of profitability, now have become profitable, Russian political scientist, General Director of the “Institute of Political Studies” non-profit partnership (NPP), Member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation Sergey Markov said at a press conference in Baku.
"Negotiations on the status of the Caspian sea have been going on for 20 years, and now the contradictions have been resolved. As a result of the signing of the Caspian Convention, a solid legal foundation for various economic development projects in the Caspian region has been formed. This means billions, perhaps tens of billions of profit," Markov said.
He noted that the signing of the Caspian Convention is specified as a historic, landmark event in Russia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. And there is a reason behind it.
"As long as there was no solid legal foundation in the form of a Convention, there was no clear idea of how to divide the bottom and the waters, lawyers of major international banks were forced to note some legal uncertainty. Now the risk of legal uncertainty goes away, and as a result, the interest at which the money can be borrowed from various consortia, has decreased," Markov said.
The Russian political scientist said that the US sanctions against Iran were to some extent the reason why the issue of the Convention was finally resolved. Iran, which was the main opponent of the model developed jointly by Russia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan and approved in the trilateral agreement between our countries a few years ago, had been resisting.
"We offered to divide the Caspian sea by the median line, and Iran offered to divide it by 20 percent. But if there were no American threats, Iran might have been negotiating for another 10 years. Now they have decided to secure all the back areas before a possible conflict with the Americans and quickly agreed, thanks to which the negotiations going on for 20 years have finally ended," Sergey Markov said.
According to the Convention, the seabed is divided between all states, so that the countries of the region can safely extract natural resources on their part of the sea, and the waters of the Caspian sea mostly remain common, except for those rather small areas that are considered coastal waters.
The exclusive fishing zone is also small, Markov said, adding that this has created conditions for cooperation in the issues of biological resources and the scope of implementation of oil and gas projects has been strictly distributed.
He also stressed the importance of another aspect related to the signing of the Caspian Convention. These are the provisions that no other states may have military forces, the infrastructure of the armed forces in the Caspian sea basin. Only five Caspian states have the right to do so.
"This agreement creates more confidence that external military forces will never appear here," Sergey Markov said.
On August 12, the heads of five Caspian states signed the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian sea at the 5th summit of the heads of Pre-Caspian states in Aktau - a historic document for the region, work over which has been carried out for two decades, since 1996.
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