Source Pravda.Ru

Alma Ata Media Forum to Discuss Caspian Sea's Legal Status

The legal status of the Capsian sea is high on the agenda at the second Eurasian media forum that opened yesterday in Alma Ata, Kazakhstan.

The protracted inert dialogue between the five coastal states on the legal status of the Caspian sea has been the subject of concern shown by the world press over the security of the region. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Victor Kalyuzhny who also performs the function of the president's special envoy on Caspian sea status settlement expressed confidence that for Russia it is the consolidation of the country's resources.

"It is required to build up the reserves discovered and to widen the development of oil fields on the sea shelf," said Kalyuzhny.

Having reminded that Russia, Kazkahstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenia have come to terms on the division of the Caspian bottom along the middle modified line for the use of the minerals and joint exploitation of the water surface (in other words, the formula: a divided bottom and common exploitation of the water surface), the Russian politician indicated that the sea's legal status can be determined only by consensus.

Iranian envoy Mehdi Safari expressed hopes that this appeal would find response in his country as well and the document on the Caspian sea's legal status would be soon signed. (Iran has until recently insisted on the sectoral division of both the bottom and the sea reservoir-the more so, in equal parts).

Kazakhstan's First Deputy Foreign Minister Kairat Abuseitov supported journalists who focused attention on oil transportation to world markets and the question of national interests defence as regards the Caspian sea.

"These problems united all five littoral Caspian states in one boat and let them remain in it," said the diplomat.

His Azeri colleague Khalaf Khalafov said that Baku was prepared to support the neighbours' all projects on carbohydrates export and to co-operate in other areas concerning the Caspian basin, that is fishing, navigation, ecological security and communications.

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