12/06/2022, 08.54
RUSSIA
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Ukraine war: Moscow violates agreements with Caspian countries

by Vladimir Rozanskij

Russian ships launch missiles at Ukrainian targets from the sea. According to an agreement, the Caspian should only be used for peaceful purposes. So far no objections from Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Their silence is a form of connivance with the massacre of the Ukrainians.

 

 

Moscow (AsiaNews) - Russia systematically uses the Caspian Sea as a naval base to launch its bombs against civilian targets in Ukraine. Yet only four years ago Moscow signed a convention on the legal status of the great saltwater lake together with the other four countries bordering it: Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

The document states that the Caspian should only be used for peaceful purposes and become a zone of peace and friendship for all. And none of the countries involved intervened to claim these goals in the face of Russian violence.

As 28-year-old Ukrainian Valeria Glodan, a resident of Odessa, wrote on social networks, 'Putin's soldiers fire from Caspian ships on kindergartens and hospitals, on our houses, they destroy entire neighbourhoods'. A missile then hit the same house as Valeria's family, a 16-storey building.

It hit the fourth and fifth floors, causing the whole building to collapse, eventually killing Valeria, her daughter Kira, only three months old, and her mother Ljudmila. Valeria's husband, Jurij, had gone out shopping: he only found the charred bodies of the two women and the little girl."

It was Ukrainian President Zelenskyj who informed the public: 'What danger was a three-month-old baby girl to Putin? It seems that killing babies is the new national idea of the Russian Federation'. It was one of the first egregious cases of the death of peaceful citizens outside the combat hotspots, a tragedy within a tragedy that has continued in an increasingly dramatic manner in recent weeks.

Thus from the Caspian the Russians bombed the regions of L'vov, Dnepropetrovsk, Kirovograd, Vinnitsa, Kiev and Zakarpatija, on the border with Slovakia. Missiles hit railway lines, crashing into running trains, not to mention energy targets, which left Ukraine without electricity and heating.

Yet the 2018 agreement clearly stated that the Caspian countries had to respect the waters, inlets, water resources and airspace above the salt lake. The then president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbaev, had said that "we have succeeded in turning the Caspian into the sea of friendship" after the signing of the convention in Aktau, a Kazakh port on the basin.

The Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, had also stressed the importance not only of signing a piece of paper, but of committing to its proper implementation; that of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, had called it 'a historic document', marking the beginning of 'an era of stability and security'. Putin himself had assured that the Convention 'guarantees that the Caspian will only be used for peaceful purposes'.

The Ukrainian government has repeatedly tried to appeal to the leaders of the 'Caspian countries' to force Russia to fulfil its international and legal commitments at least in that area. The sixth Caspian summit with the leaders of the five signatory countries was also recently held in Ašgabat, and the final declaration reaffirmed the 'peaceful use' of the area, but made no mention of Russian military actions from the Eurasian Sea.

The secretariats of the various ministries of the countries concerned have limited themselves to replying to journalists' enquiries, specifying that the peaceful purposes essentially concern mutual relations between the signatory countries, which are bound to respect the territorial integrity and independence of each other.

Only one point in the Convention specifies that 'the Armed Forces of countries outside the agreement shall not occupy the Caspian Sea space in any way'. The question now is whether Russian military activity in the area endangers the integrity of the other countries, which would then have to intervene in some way to stop Putin's bombs.

Iran, on the other hand, has not even ratified the convention, demanding that the Caspian territory be divided among the five signatory countries. The truth is that in one way or another all these countries have a strong dependence on Russia, and their silence actually appears as a form of connivance with the massacre of the Ukrainians.

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