The Legal Status of the Caspian Sea

The Legal Status of the Caspian Sea- Current Challenges and Prospects for Future Development, Barbara Janusz- Pawletta (Springer- 2015- 176 pages)

“Is it possible for the Caspian Sea, which has become a bone of contention between the five bordering countries Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Iran after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, to turn into an area of- literally speaking- fruitful cooperation in the legal sense?

This question remains open for the time being, but we may have reason to hope, considering the recent state of the negotiations, that the long awaited consensus can still be found.

More than 10 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the emergence of the newly independent republics of the Caspian Sea, a comprehensive solution to the problem of the international legal status of the Caspian Sea has still not been found. The unclear legal situation of the Caspian Sea and the consequent uncertainty of the coastal states about the issue of territorial demarcation, their uncertainty about the extent of their sovereign rights to the exploitation of natural resources and the uncertainty of the neighboring states with regard to shipping in the Caspian prevent continuous economic development of the region, destabilize political situation and result in a lack of security in the Caspian region.

The ineffective attempts to define the legal framework of the Caspian sea should be explained by pointing to the existing deep differences between geopolitical and economic interests of the five littoral states. Along with the change of the geopolitical situation in the region after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the region`s opening to international collaboration in the area of oil and gas resources, the Caspian sea region has come to the center of attention even for China, the US and the EU, which has intensified the competition of powers existing in the region.”