​Fourth Caspian Summit kicks off in Astrakhan

Statement on cooperation in the Caspian Sea will be adopted on the summit

Baku. 29 September. REPORT.AZ/ Astrakhan hosts the Fourth Caspian Summit today. Report informs citing RIA Novosti, the event will be attended by Heads of State of the five Caspian littoral states - Azerbaijan, Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

It is expected, that the summit will result in signing a number of documents, including policy statements, which will serve as the basis for a future convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea. The document will contain provisions which determine the field of state sovereignty and fishing zone, as well as the impossibility of fixing presence of armed forces of extra-regional powers in the Caspian.

"It is planned to discuss the joint management of the Caspian Sea, the formation of the modern legal regime of the reservoir on Astrakhan meeting," Russian presidential foreign policy aide Yury Ushakov said on the eve of the summit.

According to Ushakov, the leaders will meet in narrow and expanded structures, take part in the signing ceremony of the five-sided documents, and at the end of the official program of the summit, presidents will stroll along the Volga River and participate in a ceremony of releasing sturgeon to Volga.

Ushakov stated, that Caspian summit would adopt a political statement on the legal status of the Caspian Sea. However, the convention could be adopted at the next summit, which would be held in Kazakhstan in 2015. He informed that, the political statement "reinforces the interaction principles of Caspian states on the sea". “Fixed position statements will then be taken into account in the convention on legal status of the Caspian Sea,” he added.

Ushakov issued that the working group of experts on developing the status of the Caspian Sea could agree on the positions, which would be reflected in the statement of the presidents. "These positions concern the delimitation of the waters, so the two zones will be fixed - the area of state sovereignty and a second zone with fishing rights," he said. “These two zones will be 25 nautical miles”.

"The great issue is the passing of baselines from which the breadth of the mentioned areas will be measured. This question has not been agreed yet, as there is a problem of incompatibility of methods of their establishment," Ushakov said.

He explained that the four countries had adopted a methodology that prescribes the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982, but Iran supports another method.

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