On August 12, Kazakhstan's Aktau hosted the V Caspian summit, during which the President of Turkmenistan — Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Azerbaijan — Ilham Aliyev, Iran — Hassan Rouhani, Kazakhstan — Nursultan Nazarbayev and Russia — Vladimir Putin signed the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian sea – a historical, basic document that establishes the legal norms of cooperation in various fields in the Caspian sea.
The signing of the Convention, first of all, means for Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan an opportunity to simplify the production, search and export of oil. The bottom and subsoil of the Caspian sea will be divided between five countries, and the main area of the water surface will be considered as shared.
Also, in the presence of the heads of States, the Protocol on cooperation in the fight against terrorism in the Caspian sea to the Agreement of November 18, 2010 on cooperation in the field of security in the Caspian sea, the Protocol on cooperation in the fight against organized crime in the Caspian sea to the Agreement of November 18, 2010 on cooperation in the field of security in the Caspian sea, the Agreement between the Governments of the Caspian States on trade and economic cooperation was signed; Agreements between the Governments of the Caspian States on cooperation in the field of transport; Agreements on the prevention of incidents in the Caspian sea; the Protocol on cooperation and coordinated action of Border agencies to the Agreement of November 18, 2010 on cooperation in the field of security in the Caspian sea.
Following the results of the V Summit of the heads of the Caspian States, the relevant Communiqué was also adopted.
President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, highly appreciating the results of the summit, noted that the most important document – the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian sea ‑ was signed. The Turkmen leader also noted the active participation of all the Caspian States in the development of the Convention and expressed hope for the effective implementation of its provisions, which provides for the establishment of a five-party mechanism of political consultations under the auspices of the ministries of foreign Affairs.
The five-party agreements on trade, economic and transport cooperation developed on the initiative of Turkmenistan will simplify economic cooperation between the business circles of the Caspian countries and increase the number of routes for goods through the Caspian sea, will find access to international markets.
To implement the Agreements, Turkmenistan will host the first Caspian economic forum in 2019, where entrepreneurs of the region will gather to establish contacts and search for new areas for cooperation. Also, meetings of the competent departments of the Caspian States on trade and economic issues will be held regularly.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov emphasized the importance of the upcoming Caspian economic forum. Noting that this forum should become a permanent platform for multilateral economic dialogue with the broad participation of members of Governments, business and academic circles, representatives of international organizations, the head of Turkmenistan expressed the opinion that it should be held on a regular basis alternately in each of the Caspian States.
Having identified the most important sphere of cooperation in the Caspian transport, the Turkmen leader expressed the belief that to improve the effectiveness of partnership in this area it is necessary to create a Caspian transport and logistics center, the Executive apparatus of which could be located on a rotational basis in the coastal cities of each of the Caspian countries.
Thus, this summit marked a real breakthrough, the beginning of a new milestone in the history of relations between the countries of the Caspian region, giving a new impetus to the five-party interstate cooperation.