TURKMENISTAN - Background Of Caspian Disputes.The first summit meeting of the heads of state of the five countries surrounding the Caspian Sea Caspian Sea (kăs`pēən), Lat. Mare Caspium or Mare Hyrcanium, salt lake, c.144,000 sq mi (373,000 sq km), between Europe and Asia; the largest lake in the world. was held in Ashgabat in April 2002. It produced no agreement, however, because Russia already had bilateral accords on sharing the Caspian with each of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.
In mid-2001 an Iranian gunboat gunboat, small warship for use on rivers and along coasts in places inaccessible to vessels of larger displacement. In the U.S. Civil War both sides used as gunboats, on the Mississippi and other rivers, any boat that had an engine and had room to mount a gun. forced a BP-hired exploration vessel to leave an oil-rich area disputed between Iran and Azerbaijan. Weeks earlier the Turkmen government recalled its five-member embassy from Baku because of a dispute over ownership of three Caspian oilfields.
Legal issues on the Caspian Sea's resources revolve around Verb 1. revolve around - center upon; "Her entire attention centered on her children"; "Our day revolved around our work"
center, center on, concentrate on, focus on, revolve about whether development rights are governed by treaties signed between the former Soviet Union and Iran (which did not establish seabed boundaries or discuss oil and gas exploration), and whether the Caspian is a body of water affected by the Law of the Seas (inland lakes are not covered not covered Health care adjective Referring to a procedure, test or other health service to which a policy holder or insurance beneficiary is not entitled under the terms of the policy or payment system–eg, Medicare. Cf Covered. by this law).
If the Law of the Seas convention applied to the Caspian, full maritime boundaries of the five littoral littoral /lit·to·ral/ (lit´ah-r'l) pertaining to the shore of a large body of water.
pertaining to the shore. states would be established based on the equidistant e·qui·dis·tant
equi·distance n. division of the sea and undersea resources into national sectors.
Iran still argues that, if the law does not apply, the Caspian resources should be developed jointly by the five states. The Russians have argued that neither the Law of the Seas nor its precedents apply because the Caspian is an enclosed sea.
However, President Vladimir Putin of Russia could no longer wait for a five-way agreement. Within weeks of the Ashgabat summit, Moscow had agreed with the Kazakhs jointly to develop oilfields lying in disputed waters between the two countries. It was also negotiating a bilateral agreement with Azerbaijan, which was signed in September 2002.
Moscow's special envoy for Caspian affairs, Viktor Kalyuzhny, said in September 2002 that Russia was still keen on a five-way accord on the division of the sea. But he said that, after a decade of disagreements during which little had been achieved, Russia saw the need to pursue bilateral treaties which did not harm the prospects of a future global settlement.
The US, whose special Caspian envoy Stephen Mann never misses an occasion to assert Washington's keen interest in this sea, has established military presence around the area - notably in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrghystan and Georgia, as well as in Afghanistan. The US Department of Energy's EIA (Electronic Industries Alliance, Arlington, VA, www.eia.org) A membership organization founded in 1924 as the Radio Manufacturing Association. It sets standards for consumer products and electronic components. optimistically op·ti·mist
1. One who usually expects a favorable outcome.
2. A believer in philosophical optimism.
op places a 50% likelihood that the Caspian Sea could yield 233 billion barrels of oil.
Mann keeps reminding the littoral states that the US will prevent any Caspian oil or gas export pipeline from being built via Iran. Local observers say the US' planned long-term military presence in Iraq could greatly boost American influences over the Greater Middle East, including the Caspian region and Central Asia. But the US now is having difficulty in ending a chaotic situation in Iraq (see Iraq survey in OOD See object-oriented design.
OOD - object-oriented design of this week's APS Diplomat Package).