Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 22
The Russian president's special envoy for the delimitation and demarcation of Russia's borders with the CIS countries, special envoy of the foreign ministry Igor Bratchikov hopes that the Caspian countries will be able to sign a document on the Caspian Sea status in the foreseeable future, RIA Novosti reported.
"One can expect that in the foreseeable future, such a convention will be signed," he said at a press-conference in the "Russia today" international news agency.
Astrakhan will host the fourth Caspian summit on September 29.
Bratchikov expressed the opinion that the progress will be made on the Caspian Sea status at this meeting.
"I am sure a significant action will be made towards reaching agreement on the convention aspects which still remain open," he said. "It will allow us to really reach the finish line. But it does not mean that the next meeting of leaders must be necessarily attached to the working out of the convention."
In particular, he expressed hope that it will be possible to advance in the Caspian Sea delimitation at the Astrakhan Summit.
Coastal states (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan and Iran) signed the framework convention for the protection of the marine environment of the Caspian Sea in November 2003.
In July 1998, Russia and Kazakhstan have signed an agreement on the delimitation of the northern part of the Caspian Sea in order to implement sovereign rights for subsoil use, and the protocol to this agreement was signed May 2002.
Agreements on the delimitation of the Caspian Sea between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan and the protocol were signed November 29, 2001 and February 27, 2003 respectively.
Also, an agreement on the delimitation of adjacent sections of the Caspian Sea was signed by Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Russia May 14, 2003.