News 14 september — 12:31

Russian Foreign Ministry: US tried to influence talks on Caspian Sea status

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The United States and its allies have repeatedly tried to influence the negotiations on the status of the Caspian Sea, Igor Bratchikov, the Ambassador-at-Large of the Russian Foreign Ministry, told Kommersant.

As he says, these attempts have been carried out during all 20 years of negotiations up to the last moment.

The ambassador says that countries that are far from this region, including those outside of Eurasia, have been trying to realise their interests in the Caspian. Among them is the United States.

The diplomat expressed the hope that the ratification of the adopted Convention on the status of the sea will not be procrastinated, since the document is balanced and equitable. It takes into account the interests of all the littoral countries.

'Regarding the issue of dividing the water area of the Caspian into national sectors, the Russian Federation from the very beginning objected to this, proposing, by dividing the bottom, to leave water in the general use of the parties. At a certain stage of the negotiations, we met partners midway and agreed that all countries along the coast should have a 15-mile-wide zone of national sovereignty and a fishing zone adjacent to it, outside of which there is a common water area with equal rights for all Caspian countries for shipping and other types of marine activities,' said Igor Bratchikov.

According to him, the Convention guarantees freedom of development of navies, navigation and actions of warships outside the territorial waters of coastal countries.

Recall that the Convention on the status of the Caspian Sea was signed on August 12 by the heads of Azerbaijan, Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. The document states that the water surface of the sea will remain in common use, and the bottom and subsoil are divided between the Caspian littoral countries. The document specifies separately the provision on preventing the presence of the armed forces of extra-regional states in the Caspian.

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