I had the great pleasure to speak at the IV International Scientific Conference at Tbilisi State University, Faculty of Social and Political Science and Institute for Georgia´s Neighborhood Studies, yesterday,
POLITICS AROUND THE CAUCASUS
I gave a presentation about the Aktau Agreement, settling the legal status of the Caspian Sea and disputes around it, after 20 years!
On August 12, 2018 the Agreement was signed by the five surrounding states of the Caspian: Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Azerbaijan, and Russia. They agreed that the Caspian will be considered an international water on the surface, and a lake on the bottom with clearly defined borders. It is all about energy resources under the Caspian Sea.
The agreement is a win-win for all. Now all states can develop there part of the sea. The outcome also a stepstone in the efforts to distribute the energy resources in the sea, to transport gas and oil across the Caspian, to build pipelines across the sea, and to build a stable link on the new Silk Road between the Caucasus and Central Asia, and thereby the economic ties between Europe and China.
All issues of the region already considered in the Ankara Conference in 1998, such as the long time planned pipeline connection between Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, are coming back to life. Plans to develope new harbors and industrial centers at the Caspian will bring new dynamics to still weak markets in Central Asia. A new important transport route for the New Silk Road is being established.