Legal Status of Caspian Sea

The position of the Republic of Kazakhstan in regard to the legal status of the Caspian Sea is application of some provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982 concerning regimes and width of the various parts of the sea to the Caspian Sea.

In order to effective ensuring of political and economical interests Kazakhstan proposes to establish territorial sea, fishing zone and common water area in the Caspian Sea in accordance with the provisions of the mentioned document.

External border of the territorial sea should be the state border within limits of which the littoral state will exercise its sovereign rights.

It is suggested to divide fishing zone as a branch category with the width and regime agreed with the Caspian states. Herewith, fishery and use of bio-resources should be allowed in corresponding fishing zones, as well as in the high seas on the basis of agreed catch quotas and licensing.

Negotiations on elaboration of the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea are held within the framework of the Special Working Group at the level of the Caspian states' Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs and bilateral and trilateral consultations. In addition, issues of interaction in the sphere of using biological and mineral resources, navigation, maintenance of security and protection of the Caspian Sea environment are also included in the agenda of such meetings.

Agreement on the drafts of sectoral international treaties regarding to the Caspian subject is held at the level of representatives of Parties' appropriate state organs.

On July 6th 1998 the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation concluded the Agreement on delimitation of the bottom of the northern part of the Caspian Sea for realize sovereign rights on using of subsoil and on May 13th 2002 – the Protocol to this Agreement.

On November 29th 2001 and on February 27th 2003 the Agreement between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Republic of Azerbaijan on delimitation of the bottom of the Caspian Sea between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Protocol to it was concluded.

Also on May 14th 2003 the Agreement on the junction point of the delimitation lines of the Caspian Sea bottom' contiguous sectors between Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Russia was concluded.

On December 2th 2014 the Agreement between the Republic of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan on the delimitation of the bottom of the Caspian Sea between the Republic of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan was signed (entered into force on 31th July 2015).

The Framework Convention on Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea was signed on November 4th 2003 and entered into force on 12th August 2007. It contains the basic provisions for regulation of human impact on the marine environment, issues of biological resources protection and overall interaction between the parties in regard to measures on protection of the Caspian ecosystem.

The Protocol concerning regional preparedness, response and cooperation in combating oil pollution incidents to the Framework Convention on the protection of the marine environment of the Caspian Sea was signed on August 12th 2011. On 12 December 2012 was signed Protocol on protection of the Caspian Sea against pollution from land-based sources and as a result of land activities. The Protocol on biological diversity maintainance was adopted on 30 May 2014 as a result of Fifths session of the Framework Convention Contracting parties Conference.

Currently parties are in negotiations in regard to the Protocol on evaluation of influence to environment in transboundary context to the mentioned Framework Convention.

There were four Summit of the Caspian states Presidents (23-24 April 2002, 16 October 2007, 18 November 2010 and 29 September 2014) and five meetings of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs (11-12 November 1996, 6 April 2004, 20 June 2007, 22 April 2014 and 12-13 July 2016).

As a result of the Second meeting of the "Caspian Five" Heads in Tehran the Declaration of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Turkmenistan was adopted. Declaration consolidate on political level existing arrangements with respect to basic issues of legal status of the Caspian Sea, security and stability at the sea, as well as issues related to the position of the Caspian States on certain aspects of international relations (strengthen role of the UN, IAEA, non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, international terrorism).

In framework of the Third Caspian summit in Baku the Joint statement by the Presidents of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Turkmenistan, as well as the Agreement on cooperation in the field of security at the Caspian Sea were signed.

Leaders of "Caspian Five" in the Joint Statement again reaffirmed commitment to the positions reflected in the Declaration of the Second Summit and noted the need for a speedy completion of the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea.

The Agreement on cooperation in the field of security at the Caspian Sea, as a framework document, laid the legal basis for interaction of littoral states to ensure security and fight against illegal activities in the Caspian Sea, securing the main areas and forms of cooperation.

During fourth Caspian summit Presidents signed the Joint statement, that consolidate the broadly list of principles, in according with which littoral states will realize activities in the Caspian Sea. This principles will be considered in further work on the draft of the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea.

Heads of the states also has adopted Communiqué of the Summit, which shows available progress in the Caspian negotiation process and reflects main directions of further cooperation.

At the Fourth Caspian summit the Agreement on conservation and rational use of the aquatic biological resources of the Caspian Sea, the Agreement on cooperation in emergency prevention and response in the Caspian Sea and the Agreement on cooperation in the field of Hydrometeorology of the Caspian Sea was signed.

Created at : 10.12.2013, 15:27, Updated at : 29.01.2017, 23:03