On December 05, in Moscow, a regular meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan was ended. Its main outcome was completion of almost 20-year work on the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea. Opening this meeting, Sergey Lavrov said, ‘We are pleased with the way how the mechanism of interaction of the ‘Caspian Five’ functions – openly, on an equal and mutually respectful basis. Solutions have been found for all the key issues related to the preparation of this document. In fact, the text of the convention has been prepared; in the near future, editorial revision and translation into national languages will be carried out.’
The signing of the convention is expected at the Fifth Caspian Summit in Kazakhstan, scheduled in the first half of 2018. Also, for the forthcoming summit, participants agreed to prepare agreements on cooperation between law enforcement agencies of the Caspian littoral states, including an agreement in the field of combating poaching. Foreign ministers noted the willingness of their countries to adopt the Protocol on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context to the Tehran Convention. The signing of this most important document will take place before the ratification of the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea or at the time of its approval by the heads of the Caspian littoral states.