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The agreement between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation on differentiation of bottom of northern part of the Caspian Sea for the purpose of implementation of the sovereign rights to subsurface use

of July 6, 1998

The Republic of Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation which further are referred to as with the Parties, considering mutual interest in creation of the legal basis of activities of both Parties for mining of northern part of the Caspian Sea,

aiming to provide favorable conditions for realization of the sovereign rights on the Caspian Sea, and also to settle the questions connected with effective use of mineral resources of bottom and subsoil of the Northern Caspian Sea in the spirit of mutual understanding and cooperation

considering the geopolitical changes which happened in the region, the getting stronger climate of cooperation, neighborliness and mutual understanding between the Parties

in view of that the existing legal regime of the Caspian Sea does not meet the modern requirements and does not regulate in full relation of the Caspian states,

calling the Caspian states for the fastest conclusion on the basis of their consensus of the Convention on legal status of the Caspian Sea,

being guided by the principles and rules of international law, interests of the Parties in case of development and use of mineral resources of bottom and subsoil of northern part of the Caspian Sea,

proceeding from understanding that in case of determination of legal status of the Caspian Sea the Parties will consider the possibility of establishment in its water area of zones of border, customs and health control, fishing zones in the approved limits, and also zones public, understanding the responsibility to present and future generations for preserving the Caspian Sea and integrity of its unique ecological system,

considering value of the existing reserved zones for preserving and recovery of biological resources of the Caspian Sea,

recognizing importance of carrying out joint scientific research and need of observance of special ecological requirements in case of investigation and development of mineral resources of bottom and subsoil of northern part of the Caspian Sea,

the developments of uniform approaches to creation of system of ecological safety convinced of need, including assessment procedures of impact, environmental assessment and control,

proceeding from the fact that differentiation by this agreement of bottom of the Caspian Sea does not extend to biological resources

in view of the reached two-way deals concerning legal status of the Caspian Sea,

agreed as follows:

Article 1

The bottom of northern part of the Caspian Sea and its subsoil when preserving in general use of surface of the water, including ensuring freedom of navigation, the approved regulations of fishery and environment protection, are differentiated between the Parties on the median line modified on the basis of concept of justice and the arrangement of the Parties.

The modified median line is based on basis of equal removal from the approved basic lines, it includes sites which are not equidistant from basic lines and are determined taking into account islands, geological structures, and also taking into account other special circumstances and the incured geological costs.

Passing of the modified median line is determined by means of counting from points on the coasts of the Parties taking into account islands, proceeding from the level of the Caspian Sea for January 1, 1998, equal to mark minus 27 meters of the Baltic system of heights (rather Kronstadt tide gage).

The geographical description of passing of the line stated above and its coordinates will be performed on the basis of the cartographic materials and basic lines approved by the Parties and enshrined in the separate Protocol which will be appendix to this agreement and its integral part.

Article 2

The parties perform the sovereign rights for the purpose of investigation, development and resource management of bottom and subsoil of the Northern Caspian Sea within the parts of bottom to the dividing line.

The parties have exclusive right to joint investigation and development of perspective structures and fields in case of passing through them the modified median line. Determination of shares of each of the Parties is carried out on the basis of the developed world practice taking into account good-neighbourhood between the Parties.

Article 3

The party or its legal entities and physical persons (daleepredstavitel) who found the field of hydrocarbons or revealed geological structures, perspective for accumulating of hydrocarbons, in northern part of the Caspian Sea in zone of passing of the modified median line before its approval by the Parties have the priority right to the license for their investigation and development with obligatory involvement of representatives of other Party.

Article 4

The parties agreed about effective interaction in questions of development of export pipelines, uses of river and other transport ways, ship-building capacities and in other areas.

Article 5

The questions connected with freedom of navigation and flights, laying and use of underwater cables of pipelines and other types of use of the Caspian Sea will be settled by free bilateral and multilateral agreements of the Caspian states after the conclusion and based on the Convention on legal status of the Caspian Sea.

Article 6

The parties protect and keep ecological system of the Caspian Sea and all its components. For this purpose the Parties independently or jointly take all feasible measures and cooperate for preserving biological diversity of the Caspian Sea, prevention, reducing pollution from any source and ensuring control over condition of the environment of the Caspian Sea.

The parties prohibit activities which can cause serious damage to the environment of the Caspian Sea.

The parties will aim at the fastest signing by all Caspian states of the Agreement on preserving, reproduction and rational use of biological resources of the Caspian Sea.

Article 7

This agreement does not affect the rights and obligations following from the international treaties and arrangements both bilateral, and multilateral concluded separately by each of the Parties.

Article 8

In case of dispute between the Parties concerning interpretation or application of this agreement of the Party investigations, mediations, conciliation, arbitration, legal proceedings or other peaceful means at their own choice consult among themselves with the dispute resolution purpose by negotiations.

Article 9

This agreement does not interfere with achievement of consensus of the Caspian states on legal status of the Caspian Sea and is considered by the Parties as part of their general arrangements.

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