Moscow will use "awhole range of measures, including tough ones" to force Bakuto change its position on the status of the Caspian sea, a seniordiplomat told Interfax July 21. Like Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan believesthat the Caspian Sea is a sea–not a lake–and thus should besubject to normal international rules for its exploitation. Russiaand the other littoral states disagree and want the Caspian tobe exploited "as our common treasury," the diplomatsaid. While acknowledging that each of the countries involvedwas entitled to have some control over its immediate coastal waters,the diplomat noted that Russia would be the big loser if it didnot get more than that. He further suggested that the United States–andspecifically American oil companies–were behind Azerbaijani andKazakh intransigence on this issue.
Moscow Wants Georgian, Ossetian Units Withdrawn from SouthOssetia.