The five states bordering the Caspian Sea have finally agreed on "all the remaining open key issues" regarding the sea, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. Lavrov also said the presidents of the five countries will be ready to sign a treaty on the sea next year in Kazakhstan.
However, it remains unclear what -- if any -- compromise has been reached on the most contentious issue: how to divide up the sea, and its rich underwater oil and gas resources.
Lavrov made his comments at a meeting of the Caspian littoral states' foreign ministers in Moscow on December 5.
“With great satisfaction, I declare that we have found solutions to all the remaining open key issues related to the preparation of the draft Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea. The text of the document is, in fact, ready,” he said. “We have completed our almost 20-year work on the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea. This text will be submitted for approval by the heads of our states. We expect that they will support it."
Some of Lavrov's counterparts echoed that optimism.
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