US military bases at Caspian Sea ‘out of question’, Kazakhstan FM says

AKTAU, Kazakhstan (TCA) — The establishment of US military bases at the Caspian Sea is “out of question,” Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov told Russia’s Sputnik news agency.

“Some representatives of Russian media and expert communities do not have a firm grasp of facts on the real situation regarding the transit of US non-military cargo via Kazakhstan … It is about commercial railway transportation of non-lethal cargo via Kazakhstan to continue the operations to support the Afghan government, which is necessary for the whole international community. … Naturally, any military bases on the Caspian Sea are out of question,” Abdrakhmanov said.

The minister added that the route went through the territory of several other countries and the same cargo had been shipped through the Russian, Kazakh and Uzbek territory in 2010-2015.

“All terms and conditions [in the US-Kazakh agreement] are the same as in the agreement that was in place between Russia and the United States. This has nothing to do with the establishment of US military bases or military bases of any other foreign state at the Caspian Sea,” the minister said.

Interests of all Caspian Sea littoral states will be taken into account in a convention on the body of water’s legal status, including the rights to laying down pipelines and the use of natural resources, Abdrakhmanov said.

“The convention takes into account interests of all sides regarding their sovereign rights for the use of natural resources as well as laying down underwater cables and pipelines,” Abdrakhmanov said.

On Sunday, August 12, the leaders of the Caspian states — Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan — will meet in the northwestern Kazakh city of Aktau to sign the agreement on the legal status of the Caspian Sea.


Times of Central Asia