The points of international law, Caspian Sea – the positions of the Caspian littoral States on the delimitation of the continental shelf Legal Issues

The points of international law, Caspian Sea – the positions of the Caspian littoral States on the delimitation of the continental shelf

International Institute of Khazar Studies (IIKSS) – In fact, the four Caspian countries formed from the Soviet Union have reached general and even partial agreements on the delimitation of the continental shelf (seabed and subsoil).

Unlike the delimitation of the water surface and depth of water, the delimitation of the continental shelf is entirely dependent on the territorial position of the countries.

The continental shelf zone or the common seabed area between Russia and Kazakhstan was delimited according to the agreement in 1998 on the delimitation of the northern Caspian seabed in order to determine sovereign rights for the purpose of extracting and exploring underground mining resources and in accordance with the Protocol of 2002 related to the delimitation of the northern Caspian Sea.

The tripartite area between Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia was delimited according to the agreement in 2003 on the connection points related to the delimitation of the seabed and subsoil of the Caspian Sea.

The continental shelf zone or the common seabed area between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan was delimited according to the agreement in 2001 on the delimitation of the subsoil of the Caspian Sea and in accordance with the Protocol of 2003 related to the delimitation of the seabed of the Caspian Sea. 

The continental shelf zone or the common seabed area between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan was delimited according to the agreement in 2002 on the division of the adjacent areas of Caspian Sea bed.

Important points:

  1. In signed agreements and protocols, the Middle Line is determined as a basis for the delimitation of the continental shelf.
  2. In the agreement between Russia and Kazakhstan, in addition to relying on the Middle Line, the reliance on the equity principle has been the basis of delimitation.
  3. In implementation of the signed agreements, the basis for calculating coastline is the straight line, and this is a key point to be considered. This is also due to the directness of Middle Line between sides, which does not coincide with the pattern of curvature of the coasts.
  4. Article 1 of the Agreement between Russia and Azerbaijan determines the method and basis for delimitation in accordance with the principles of international law.

Author - Maysam Araee Daronkola - member of the faculty of the University Payame Noor and the director of the International Institute of Khazar Sea Studies (IIKSS), PhD of public international law

Translator: Mohsen Hamidi - expert on Central Asia and Caucasus, translator of Russian language and member of the Scientific Council of the International Institute of Khazar Sea Studies (IIKSS)

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