Updated 5:52 p.m. Moscow Time
ASTRAKHAN, September 29 (RIA Novosti) – The leaders of the five states bordering the Caspian Sea agreed the principles of national marine sovereignty of each of the countries to an area of 15 nautical miles and 10 “fishing” miles, according to a statement signed by the countries’ leaders Monday.
“The activities of the parties of the Caspian Sea shall be carried out on the basis of agreed upon principles, including the national marine sovereignty of each of the parties with an area of 15 nautical miles and the exclusive rights of each of the parties on the extraction of marine biological resources with an area of 10 nautical miles, from which it follows that the common marine area shall be understood during the issue of using methods in setting these lines as a subject of further consultations by the parties,” the statement reads.
For decades, the inland sea was the exclusive domain of the USSR and Iran, but after the collapse of the Soviet Union new players emerged to claim an interest in the region. Since 1992, the "Caspian 5" – Russia, Kazakhstan, Iran, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan – has been engaged in negotiations related to the demarcation of the Caspian Sea.
At a summit in Russia's southern city of Astrakhan, the five nations agreed on Monday to keep a stable military balance in the region and ensure the development of their defense capability within the limits of "reasonable efficiency."
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced earlier on Monday that leaders of the "Caspian 5" had also agreed to hold five-party emergency services exercises in 2016. The summit built on the decisions taken at the previous summit in Baku in 2010.