On 19 September, the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian Parliament, adopted the Federal law On ratification of the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian sea.
The law has been sent to the upper house, the Federation Council.
“The Convention, which was ratified by the State Duma today, has become a significant gain of diplomacy and confirmation of friendly relations between our countries,” said the chairman of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin.
“The document confirms the use of the sea for peaceful purposes, establishes the regime of navigation and the order of collective use of the water area, as well as establishes the basic principle of joint activities in the Caspian sea – the expansion of mutually beneficial cooperation in all spheres,” he added.
“The signing and ratification of the Convention is the result of painstaking work that has lasted for more than 20 years. The coastal countries of the Caspian sea have shown consistency in their decisions, the desire for equal dialogue and fair use of the region’s resources,” he stressed.
The Convention on the legal status of the Caspian sea, signed in Aktau on 12 August last year, contains provisions fixing the regime of navigation and the procedure for the collective use of the Caspian sea, mechanisms for establishing the boundaries of territorial waters and fishing zones, delimitation of the seabed and subsoil of the Caspian sea, conditions for laying submarine cables and pipelines and other related issues. The Convention stipulates for non-presence of armed forces not belonging to the coastal countries.
Turkmenistan was among the first of the Caspian “five” to ratify the Convention in December 2018. In February this year, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan completed the ratification process.
The explanatory note to the draft Federal Law on ratification of the Caspian Convention says the Convention sets up other legal regimes than those operating in the maritime spaces of the Russian Federation, and therefore the ratification will require changes in the existing frames and adoption of new laws. /// nCa, 23 September 2019