State Duma ratifies Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea
At its plenary session on 19 September 2019, State Duma of the Russian Federation ratified the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea.
The Convention On the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea was signed by Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenia on 12 August 2018, at Fifth Caspian Summit in the Republic of Kazakhstan. Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted it to the lower chamber of parliament for ratification on 30 July 2019.
“The Caspian Sea has a geopolitical, commercial, economic and strategic significance and features a unique ecological system. With its exclusive location it links Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan”, said Vyacheslav Volodin, Chairman of the State Duma.
According to the explanatory note, the Convention contains provisions that secure the regime of shipping and the collective use of the Caspian Sea, the mechanisms for establishing the boundaries of territorial waters and fishing zones, delimiting the bottom and bowels of the Caspian Sea into sectors, the conditions for laying submarine cables and pipelines and other issues of cooperation of coastal states”.
According to the Convention, each party shall establish the breadth of its territorial waters up to a limit not exceeding 15 nautical miles, measured from baselines determined in accordance with this Convention. The water area of the Caspian Sea shall be divided into internal waters, territorial waters, fishery zones and the common maritime space. For the purpose of determining the outer limit of the territorial waters, the outermost permanent harbour works which form an integral part of the harbour system shall be regarded as forming part of the coast. Off-shore installations and artificial islands shall not be considered as permanent harbour works.
The Chairman of the State Duma emphasized that "the signing and ratification of the Convention is the result of hard work, which lasted for over 20 years”.