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Russia: Caspian States Discuss Division Of Sea's Resources

Moscow, 26 February 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Representatives of the five states on the Caspian Sea are meeting today in Moscow to discuss how to divide the sea's rich mineral resources. Representatives of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan are attending the conference in Moscow.

Russia's envoy to the Caspian, Deputy Foreign Minister Viktor Kalyuzhny, said that the legal status of the Caspian Sea needs to be decided as soon as possible. Kalyuzhny, who is attending the conference, recently said that there were "no fundamental differences" between the littoral states on how to divide up access to the oil-rich sea.

Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia want to divide the Caspian in proportion to their coastlines. Iran and Turkmenistan, with shorter coastlines, want access to resources to be divided equally among the five countries. A summit to decide how to divide the Caspian Sea's mineral resources has been repeatedly postponed.