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TEHRAN, Jan. 10 (FNA) -  A senior Russian analyst underlined the necessity for the adoption of a legal regime for the Caspian Sea, and called on the Lake's littoral states to avoid joint projects with trans-regional states as long as they have not approved a legal convention.

"Adopting a legal regime for the Caspian Sea is necessary since no action can be taken with foreign (trans-regional) parties before attaining a solution agreed by all the littoral states," Alexander Kniazev, a researcher at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told FNA.

"Any effort to implement a project with third parties will lead to a further complication of the legal regime of the Caspian Sea unless the legal status of the Caspian Sea is established," Kniazev added.

His remarks alluded to projects like the Nabucco gas pipeline project between Turkmenistan and Europe.

Kniazev pointed to the recent agreement between the managers of Nabucco Gas Pipeline International and Turkmenistan's leaders for the construction of the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline, and stressed that construction of a trans-Caspian pipeline without considering Iran and Russia's interests will be futile.

He further urged the littoral states to consider and respect the common interests of all the regional states when working out a deal with the trans-Caspian parties.

Late in October, Managing-Director of the National Iranian Gas Exporting Company (NIGEC) Hossein Bidarmaghz termed the Nabucco pipeline project a "dead plan", and said Iran can supply gas to Europe via Turkmenistan.

He said at present most experts believe Nabucco is a "dead" and "on-paper" project.

"Despite the inking of the Nabucco project in 2009, so far no measure has been taken for its construction", he stated.

The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on earth by area, variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea.

Caspian Sea littoral states consist of Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan. They have been debating their share in the Caspian Sea legal regime since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The Caspian Sea legal regime is based on two agreements signed between Iran and the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1921 and 1940. The three new littoral states, established after the collapse of the Soviet Union, do not recognize the prior treaties, triggering a debate on the future status of the sea.



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