Russian, Iranian Officials Hold Talks on Caspian Sea
Russia's top official for the Caspian region held talks in Tehran on Sunday with Iranian officials over how to divide the sea's rich resources, reported the official IRNA news agency.
Viktor Kalyuzhny, Russian President Vladimir Putin's special envoy to the region, held talks with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister, Ali Ahani, about "their countries' respective positions on the legal regime of the Caspian," the agency said.
The Russian envoy arrived in Tehran after a tour of other Caspian countries.
Moscow and Tehran had joint agreements on the Caspian but they fell apart with the break-up of the Soviet Union 10 years ago and the emergence of three new littoral states: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, said AFP.
“Ahani and Kalyuzhny expressed their views on ways of finalizing the Caspian legal status based on the consensus of its five littoral states,” said IRNA, citing a statement by the foreign ministry.
Tehran, which reacted angrily to an agreement between Russia and Azerbaijan in January, is seeking a strictly "equitable" sharing of the spoils, giving each country 20 percent regardless of the length of its coastline, added AFP.
Iran rejects bilateral accords on the Caspian and has said the five countries are in agreement that the Soviet-Iranian accords of 1921 and 1940 should be the basis for future agreements, said IRNA.
“Iran believes that agreements reached between Tehran and Moscow in 1921 and 1940 are the most suitable basis for determination of the sea's legal regime,” IRNA said.
“These accords will meet the interests of the five littoral states, the foremost being the proportional exploitation of the sea. Iran believes that fair share is the only way that will guarantee peace, stability and lasting development in the Caspian Sea littoral states.”
According to some estimates there are 200 billion barrels of oil and 600 trillion cubic feet (18 trillion cubic meters) of gas reserves under the Caspian, the lion's share of which are held by Azerbaijan – Albawaba.com
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