Factors Preventing Determination of Sea Borders among Caspian Sea Littoral States
Caspian Sea is the world’s largest lake; located between Asia and Europe and has no natural connection to oceans and free seas. Before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991، Caspian Sea was divided between Iran and the Soviet Union and was known as a joint sea according to bilateral treaties signed by Tehran and Moscow in 1921 and 1940. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and emergence of three new states; Kazakhstan، Turkmenistan، and Azerbaijan، Caspian Sea was practically surrounded by five states. This was the beginning of differences over legal regime of the Caspian Sea and how to the exploit the seabed and underground resources of the sea. According to negotiations which were carried out after collapse of the Soviet Union، various methods were proposed to divide the Caspian Sea none of which has been accepted by all littoral countries yet. Geographical characteristics of the Caspian Sea، existence of huge oil and gas resources، in addition to presence of regional and transregional powers have given rise to various viewpoints on the territorial waters in Caspian Sea and determination of sea borders. This paper discusses the legal regime of the Caspian Sea after collapse of the Soviet Union through a descriptive – analytical approach and in view of the aforesaid facts، explains factors which have been effective in preventing determination of sea borders among littoral countries of the Caspian Sea.
Rahbord Journal, Volume:20 Issue:61, 2011
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