Russia repeats opposition to divide Caspian sea into national sectors

Aug 02, 2000 02:00 AM

Russia's envoy to the Caspian Sea region reiterated Moscow's opposition to a proposed plan to divide the oil-rich sea into national sectors, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. During a trip to Iran Viktor Kalyuzhny and top Iranian officials agreed to continue searching for a solution to the Caspian problem that would be acceptable to both sides, the ministry said in a statement.
Of the five countries that border the Caspian, Russia and Iran, which have less oil near their coastlines, have said the sea's resources should be shared by all. Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, who have more oil, have called for national divisions. Still, Moscow has softened its stance on the issue. Russia signed an agreement with Kazakhstan in 1998 that would allow the northern part of the Caspian to be divided into Russian and Kazakh sectors.
Kalyuzhny said that achieving a settlement on the Caspian problem was hindered by the "unwanted meddling of third parties." Both Russia and Iran have opposed a US backed plan to build an oil pipeline that would avoid both countries, passing through Azerbaijan and into Turkey.

Source: AP via Newspage
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