Addressing the "Oil and Gas 95" international conference (the third of its kind) in Almaty, Kazakh deputy foreign minister Vyacheslav Gizzatov revealed that Russia has proposed to the other four Caspian countries the formation of a five-country committee with the right to issue licenses for prospection and exploitation of offshore mineral deposits. Under Russia’s concept of "joint use" of Caspian resources, an individual country could veto the issuance of licenses or other economic activities by another riparian country. Gizzatov commented that the Russian plan would require the coastal states to renounce sovereign rights, and would preclude any kind of ownership rights, also blocking foreign investment. Kazakhstan proposes applying to the Caspian Sea the 1982 U.N. maritime law convention, providing for sectoral division and national sovereignty over territorial waters and the seabed, exclusive mining rights for each state, and joint use of waters and fishing zones outside the territorial limits. (13)
Gizzatov coordinated a draft on the legal status of the Caspian Sea which was worked out the preceding week at a conference in Almaty attended by the four non-Russian riparian states, and which was shunned by them.
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