Caspian states agree third party military forces should stay away from the Sea01 october 2014, 00:47
The Caspian Five - Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan - have agreed to keep third party armed forces away from the sea, Tengrinews correspondent reports from the IV Caspian Summit of littoral states taking place in Astrakhan.
"The statement secures one of the fundamental principles of ensuring stability and security: the right to stay in the Caspian Sea is exclusively a prerogative of the armed forces of the coastal countries. Such regime has formed here historically and we are not going to change that,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said after signing joint documents.
“And in general, all the issues in the region are to be addressed solely by the Five, who have sovereign rights to the Caspian Sea and its resources," Putin stressed.
The issue was commented upon by the President of Iran as well. "We should refrain from the arms race and use of force. Sailing is only for the vessels under the banners of the Caspian states, foreign military presence is banned, unilateral decisions and parity behaviour are not welcome," Hassan Rouhani said.
The President of Russia also said the countries reached a decision to keep most of the Caspian Sea area in the common use by all the Caspian countries.
"Thanks to all this, misunderstandings or some tensions in the international relations, which previously could appear due to different interpretations of the regime of the Caspian waters, are now eliminated," Putin said.
The new agreement of the coastal countries to limit foreign presence in the waters may look like a step inspired by the ongoing Russian-Ukrainan conflict, but in fact it proceeds from a lasting intention of the Caspian Five to introduce restrictions on third party military forces in the Caspian Sea.
Reporting by Renat Tashkinbayev, writing by Dinara Urazova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina