Should  the Trans-Caspian pipelines  be coordinated  by all the Caspian littoral states?

Baku / 17.08.18 / Turan: Construction of trans-Caspian pipelines should be agreed by all the Caspian countries, stated Ambassador at Large of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Igor Bratchikov, expressing his attitude to the comments that after the signing of the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea, all the obstacles to the creation of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan will be eliminated.According to Bratchikov"s comment published on the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry, the Convention reflected "the self-evident right of all riparian countries to lay technological pipelines on its bottom section." Actually, since the beginning of development of oil and gas fields in the Caspian, many thousands of kilometers of pipes for various purposes (infield, inter-field, water pipes, etc.) have been laid, and their number will grow.

"Along with this, the case of the construction of such pipes, which until now has never been in the Caspian Sea - the main, trans-Caspian, has been specified. Article 14 of the Convention states that the parties can lay them, but on condition that the construction projects comply with the "environmental requirements and standards enshrined in the international treaties to which they are parties, including the Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea and the relevant protocols thereto", Bratchikov said.

He stressed that on July 20 this year, in Moscow, the ministers of the ecology of the five Caspian states signed the Protocol on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context to the 2003 Tehran Convention

This protocol secures the right of each of the five states entering the Caspian Sea to participate in a comprehensive environmental impact assessment of marine activities that could potentially affect the natural environment of the Caspian.

According to him, large-scale projects, such as the transfer of hydrocarbons from one coast of the Caspian to another, are automatically covered by this Protocol.Bratchikov said, if there are real plans for the construction of trans-Caspian pipelines, any of the Caspian countries, if necessary, will be able to join the procedure for assessing the possible consequences of such designs for the Caspian environment.-06D--

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