The Caspian Sea: Is it a lake? Or sea?

image_pdf
World Atlas

The Caspian Sea is a large landlocked body of water. It has been called a lake and a sea. This salty body of water is rich in gas, oil and sturgeon fish that give the expensive delicacy, caviar.

The Caspian Sea is also located in a strategic spot between Europe and Asia. Countries like Russia and Iran have deployed naval warships in the past to safeguard the resources in the area and exercise their might. This has also inspired other countries to build bigger navies.

What’s in a name? Is it a lake or a sea?

Here’s a new term for you: Geopolitics. This is the study of the effects of geography on politics. This is a great example of geopolitics:

Before 1991, The Caspian Sea was considered a lake and the maritime area (waterbody) was shared by the bordering countries, the Soviet Union and Iran.

In 1991, the Soviet Union split into 15 countries. Suddenly, the Caspian Sea shoreline was shared by 5 countries – Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Iran. and Turkmenistan!

A long dispute emerged about who would control the surface and untapped rich resources. Iran argued it was a lake and not a sea, but none of the four other countries agreed. I know that sounds silly! But, classifying it as a lake meant it would get equally divided among the five countries, and if the body was treated as a sea, each country would get a share in proportion to its shoreline. Iran had the most to lose as it has the least resource-rich portion of the sea.


Twitter

Fast forward to today:

Finally, after 20 years of failed negotiations and meetings, there has been a breakthrough. Last weekend, the Presidents of the 5 countries met in Kazakhstan and signed a deal.  The deal gives the Caspian Sea  “special legal status” which means it is neither defined as a sea nor a lake.

In principle, they agreed to divide up the world’s largest inland body of water and its vast oil and gas resources. Each country will own 15 nautical miles from their coastline and anything beyond will be shared by the 5 bordering countries. The rich seabed – which remains untapped and has an estimated  48 billion barrels of oil and nearly 300 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, will be split up. The exact details of how they will divide up the seabed is yet to be discussed.

They have agreed to forbid any foreign military presence in the Caspian Sea and fix fishing quotas to prevent overfishing of caviar.

Will this breakthrough pave the way for oil and gas exploration and the construction of underwater oil and gas pipelines? Will this deal bring additional cooperation between the countries? Only time will tell.


Written by Biyash Choksey. Biyash is a news junkie, manic list maker and passionate foodie.

Spread the love
No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Write to us at
mail@currentkids.in

Help us keep currentkids, current! We’d love to hear about your crazy adventures and experiences. Send us your pictures, travel diaries, thoughts on cool new gadgets, gaming experiences and anything else you find interesting!

About Us

Welcome to our entertaining and empowering news source for kids with inquisitive minds! This is a digital space that keeps kids aged 8 and above (and your families!) connected to what’s happening in the world. We filter a wide variety of news, events, and interesting bits of trivia to develop short, relevant, unbiased content in creative formats. We give everyone something to relate to and get engaged with in short bytes of information with a snappy, chatty feel. We believe in encouraging curiosity, creativity and continued learning in our safe digital space.

Why is reading non-fiction important?

This helps curious minds to learn more about the outside world. It also enriches their vocabulary and their general knowledge. Simplified news helps children to express their opinions easily with their friends and family and gives them some perspective on complex issues. Our safe news website will give you parents a useful tool with which to navigate the digital world with your children.

We hope you enjoy our posts!

Biyash & Sunaina

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and stay current!

 

You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.