By Nigar Orujova
Significant progress has been achieved in drafting a convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea, the Russian President Vladimir Putin's Assistant Yury Ushakov said on September 26, RIA Novosti reported.
Ushakov said the convention possibly may be signed at the Kazakhstan summit in 2015.
"The summit was preceded by a very intensive active works of experts, so we will be able to reach the desired results, which are very important for further cooperation in the Caspian Sea," he said.
"Considerable progress has been achieved, which is close to a breakthrough in the drafting of a convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea. If successful, the works in Astrakhan will open new opportunity for signing the convention at the next summit in Kazakhstan," he added.
The development of the legal status of the Caspian Sea is a "key issue", which stands in front of the five Caspian littoral states, Ushakov stressed.
"A special working group was established for these purposes in 1996. In total, some 38 meetings were held, the last one of them was held in Moscow in August," he said.
Agreement worked out
The Caspian countries have developed an agreement on two areas on the Caspian Sea zone - the state sovereignty zone and the fishing zone, Ushakov said.
"It was possible to reflect the position on the delimitation of the waters in the statement of the presidents as a result of the work of experts," he added. "These two zones will make 25 nautical miles," Ushakov said.
The statement is expected to be signed by the leaders at the next summit in Astrakhan on September 29.
A number of bilateral meetings between the Russian President Vladimir Putin and his colleagues on the Caspian Five is envisaged within the framework of the summit.
It is expected that the key issues of cooperation of the Caspian littoral countries, implementation of the decisions taken at the previous summit held in Baku, at the 2010 summit will be discussed, and the priority areas of cooperation between the countries of the region in the future will be outlined.
The multilateral documents is also expected to be signed at the summit.
Foreign ministers of Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan will meet on September 28 in Astrakhan to finalize the policy statement of the Caspian summit, he added.
"The policy statement prepared for the summit [Caspian summit] includes barring of the presence armed forces of non-regional powers in the Caspian Sea. Difficult consultations were also held on this issue, but the parties have agreed to this principle," he said.
Ushakov added that the Caspian Five have agreed on barring the presence of armed forces of non-regional powers in the region, which is reflected in the draft of the policy statement.
"The policy statement prepared for the summit [Caspian summit] includes barring the presence of armed forces of non-regional powers in the Caspian Sea. Difficult consultations were also held on this issue, but the parties have agreed to this principle," he said.
Caspian Youth Summit
Moreover, Young leaders of Russia, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Iran will discuss issues of entrepreneurship, environment, journalism and intercultural interaction on the Caspian Youth Summit in Astrakhan on September 28-29.
The event is aimed to create conditions for strengthening ties between the youth of the country through the elaborationt and development of the existing international youth projects.
It is expected that the summit participants will develop a resolution on youth cooperation, including the establishment of the Association of Youth of the Caspian region.
Caspian littoral states signed the framework convention for the protection of the marine environment of the Caspian Sea in November 2003.
In July 1998, Russia and Kazakhstan signed an agreement on the delimitation of the northern part of the Caspian Sea in order to implement sovereign rights for subsoil use, and the protocol to this agreement was signed May 2002. Agreements on the delimitation of the Caspian Sea between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan and the protocol were signed on November 29, 2001 and February 27, 2003 respectively.
Also, an agreement on the delimitation of adjacent sections of the Caspian Sea was signed by Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Russia May 14, 2003.