14 Aug 2018 19:31

Caspian Five gain universal platform to discuss any aspects of cooperation - Lavrov

ASTANA. Aug 14 (Interfax) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called the signature of the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea as a historic event, and the fruitfulness of the Caspian Five summit in Aktau as absolutely record-breaking.

"The presidents of the five [Caspian] states gave highest praise to it [the Caspian summit] in their statements for the press. They said a 'historic' and 'epoch-making' event. This is not an exaggeration. Work has proceeded over almost 22 years, this was quite difficult," Lavrov said in an interview with the Kazakh president's television and radio broadcasting center.

The fact that the Convention has determined the Caspian legal status has crucial significance, he said.

"It paved groundwork for the final approval of yet unsettled issues, including the delimitation of the sea waters and the methods, which will be applied to set a benchmark of 15-mile sovereign waters. It is the most important thing. It will already be easier to define a 10-mile fishing area for each country from there," the minister said.

The Caspian states "have an absolutely universal basis for considering any issues of cooperation" in the Caspian Sea, he said.

The signature of the Convention is a historic event, but the intergovernmental agreements regarding trade and economic, transport and Caspian Sea incident prevention cooperation signed at the summit are no less important, Lavrov said.

"The fruitfulness of this event is absolutely record-breaking for all inter-Caspian talks. I frankly congratulate, above all, the Republic of Kazakhstan, a hosting country of the summit, and all of the Caspian peoples. I am particularly grateful to negotiators, who have ensured this result in a purely professional manner and at the highest level," Lavrov said.