Russia Hopes Iran Will Soon Ratify Convention on Caspian Sea - Lavrov

© Russian Foreign Ministry / Go to the mediabank Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (File)
 Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.10.2021
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia hopes that Iran will soon ratify the convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea, which bans the military presence of any non-Caspian countries in the region, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.
"Now the issue is being considered by the parliament of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Hopefully, the decision on ratification will be made quickly, and then the convention will fully become an international legal document, securing a new status quo in the Caspian region," Lavrov said at a joint press conference after the meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amirabdollahian.
Lavrov noted that Russia has always been against any military activity in the region, including provocative drills, citing Azerbaijan's concerns over recent Iranian military exercises.
The convention will go into effect as soon as the last ratification instrument is submitted.
When commenting on the drills in the region, Amirabdollahian said that Iran has held several exercises recently, and all Caspian nations were informed of them in advance via diplomatic channels. On Friday, Iran launched military drills in the northwest close to Azerbaijan, which Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev described as a surprise event.
The same day, the Iranian side has demonstrated its readiness to ratify the convention.
"Ratification of this convention is on the agenda of our government and our parliament. Mister Lavrov asked me to speed up the decision on this issue. Upon returning to Tehran, I will get down to it and will inform my Russian counterpart," Amirabdollahian told the Rossiya 1 broadcaster.
In August 2018, the convention on the Caspian Sea was signed by Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan. The document vested the five nations with exclusive rights, including for responsible usage of the sea's subsoil and other resources.
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