Caspian basin Foreign Ministers to meet in Moscow

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Today Foreign Ministers of the Caspian basin states – Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Iran – will meet in Moscow. The meeting will become the last one before the IV summit of the Caspian basin states leaders scheduled for September 2014. The key question of the meeting is the Caspian legal status.  The unsolved status slows down development of the Caspian energy resources.

Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Iran have failed to reach the consensus. Over 80% of the text of the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea has been already agreed. “Division of the water surface and sea bottom should be considered separately to achieve progress,” Sergei Mikheyev, Director of the Institute of Caspian Cooperation,  said during the video conference Moscow-Astana-Baku.

He expressed hope that “the sides will be able to reach agreement in this issue at the forthcoming summit of the leaders in Astrakhan.” Mikheyev added that unsolved Caspian legal status slows down development of its energy resources.

The European Union is first of all interested in Caspian energy resources deliveries and it lobbies construction of the trans-Caspian pipeline. Russia and Iran are opposed to construction of the pipeline along the Caspian Sea bottom and claim that the project cannot be implemented until settlement of the legal status of the reservoir. However, with the  deepening Ukrainian crisis the European Union tries to diversify the energy carriers’ deliveries and resumed negotiations with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.

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