Parliamentary hearings "On the legal status and environmental problems of the Caspian Sea" were held on the initiative of the State Duma, Russia's lower chamber of parliament, on Monday. The participants came out in favour of setting up an inter-parliamentary assembly of the states of the Caspian region. The deputies also supported the efforts of the Russian Foreign Ministry to settle the legal status of the Caspian Sea. The Russian parliamentarians adopted a document which favours a five-sided agreement that envisages the five Caspian states establishing agreed shoreline zones under individual national jurisdictions. Those present at the hearings also proposed that a joint commission on the sea's environment be set up.