Heydar Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan met Mr. Victor ‎Kalyuzhny, deputy foreign minister, special representative of the Russian ‎President on the solution of the issue of the status of the Caspian Sea - November ‎‎9th 2000‎

Heydar Aliyev: I am glad to see you. First of all, I wanted to see you, then I wanted you to see that I am safe and sound. Secondly, I am glad to talk to you.

Victor Kalyuzhny: First of all, I express my gratitude for giving me a chance to be in touch with You again. Because I believe that the increasing number of contacts has a positive impact on the solution of the problem. Secondly, we are pleased with the current position of Azerbaijan. We are glad that You are safe and sound. I would like to congratulate You on the occasion of the elections which were quite successful and free. I congratulate You on the occasion of a quite substantial political step - recommendation for admission of Azerbaijan to the Council of Europe. This is a historical step. I wish success to Azerbaijan.

Heydar Aliyev: Thank you.

Victor Kalyuzhny: Today we would like to have an exchange of views with You on the existing problems, to discuss and to define joint decisions.

We have one problem and this problem should be resolved intensively. We have discussed a number of issues with Iran, but the position of Iran was not constructive.

Heydar Aliyev: Victor Ivanovich, thank you for the congratulations. As far as the complete topic is concerned I am pleased that we have felt more realistic position of Russia in comparison with its previous position since your appointment to be in charge of solution of this problem. That is why, I think we can come to an agreement on it. You submitted a project. Our experts got acquainted with it, but I have not seen it yet. There is a declaration between Kazakhstan and Russia. We expect the visit of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, president of Russia, late this month. As you see, we can prepare everything by that time. I am sure that the visit will be held and we will be able to make a progress in the positions of Azerbaijan and Russia in this issue. I think that we are sure in it. You said it before and you say it now.

Victor Kalyuzhny: Heydar Aliyevich, I am pleased to have another chance to come to Azerbaijan. We have managed to discuss concrete topics in the conference. The thing was not whether to come or not. I was not interested in the level of their participants, but in the problems of the Caspian Sea.

The discussion of the issue of the legal division of the Caspian Sea is extremely important for me, the more we talk about it, the closer we approach to its solution. We are glad that have our positions come closer, and You mentioned quite right that the expected visit of Vladimir Vladimirovich will give an impetus to the solution of this issue. Irrespective of the number of our meetings on lower levels, still there is a need for the meeting of the first persons. It will give an impetus to this process. After my meetings with the heads of other states, I informed Vladimir Vladimirovich that everything was all right. But You - the five presidents have to hold a meeting, in this case it will not be unproductive, but an effective continuation of the work. We try to convince each other and hold consultations on our own level. Two, three have months past, but we have not met on Iran's scenario for already two years. We have talks among us, but we do not assemble for a meeting. I want to say that the Russian President supported this idea, in addition I said that, for example, there exists the Shanghai Group of Six well. Five persons met and discussed all the problems of the Caucasus.

By the way, he also says that this is a good idea. I also think that it would be good to have Your support, and Niyazov supported it as well, he was the initiator of the meeting. If we want to solve the problem of the Caspian Sea, I think we have to receive an instruction to make preparations for a meeting.

I talked to You before my last visit to Iran, I returned after my visit to Iran again. We are concerned that despite Iran's commitment to hold a meeting, it postpones it without any ground. Iran says that the position of Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan does not satisfy them, they do not think it necessary to hold such a meeting. Their principles on the division of the Caspian, 20% for each, cannot satisfy us. That is why, they try to clarify the position through bilateral meetings, and perhaps, to draw us to their side. They have succeed to draw Turkmenistan to their side. Turkmenistan actively support them in this issue. I made an attempt somehow to activate this process, because today Iran is the only obstacle. I even asked Igor Sergeyevich Ivanov to contact with Kharrazi and to talk with him about the opportunity to hold a meeting. They had a talk. Kharrazi said that they had an alternative proposal to the one made by Kalyuzhny. But they said that they thought Kalyuzhny would come with constructive proposals, but it was not like that. It is interesting that these proposals are constructive for Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, but not for Iran, they say. I want to say that the head of department came to Moscow and raised the 20% share again. He promised to show how he imagined that kind of division on the map.

But half a month has passed and they have not submitted anything. In this period there were meetings with the experts from Kazakhstan and with Khalafov, Guliyev came to Moscow and this issue was discussed in a working atmosphere. Before our visit here we consulted with Igor Sergeyevich about our future steps. We have come to such an agreement that if Iran does not take active steps within 10 days, Russia will submit an initiative to start consultations and to hold another meeting in Moscow in order to have a progress on this issue. You know that the declaration between Kazakhstan and Russia was signed during the last visit of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin to Kazakhstan. This is completely a normal, democratic and positive document. The principles of phase by phase division and the types of these phases have been reflected here.

Many people say that first we must solve the issue in package i.e. we have to determine the middle line across the seabed. And the surface of water remains for common use for a while. Then as I said to You, we have to think about establishing a centre on the development of the Caspian Sea. We know that it is interesting for You, and You display interest in this project. We sent the project to your experts for their consideration. We want and we are ready (we agreed with Khalafov) to have a working meeting today, if You do not object we could simply discuss it, talk and learn the opinion of the experts. They will have time to consider and to evaluate it before the visit of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin in order to ensure the expression of the views of two presidents on the issue of the Caspian Sea in the documents. Our exchange of visits, consultations reflect that we have common positions, but we do not confirm them in the relevant documents. For example, we did it with Kazakhstan. I think it is high time to start to confirm some agreements. I think it is right. During our last visit we submitted draft documents, agreements on the biosphere, fishery, nature and shipping to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and requested them to evaluate in order not to wait too long. Speaking mildly we should not let nature wait how we will divide the shelf of the sea. We have to advance and it will not impede our attempts to solve the problem of the legal status of the sea.

We would like You to help in some way the officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be more active in order to consider these draft agreements as soon as possible. Three, four months have already passed. We would like to sit around the table and discuss these draft agreements. We would request it from the Minister of Foreign Affairs. I also appealed to Kazakhstan to have an active dialogue of diplomats with Iran in order to have a meeting. The request of Russia to have a meeting is one aspect of the problem. I would like it to be a collective pressure because suspension of the meeting causes different views, for example, as it was in Turkmenistan, Boris Shikhmuradov said that (I know that it is the position of Niyazov) if a solution is not reached, then we will invite UN here and let this organization solve this problem. I think it is ridiculous, we have to solve it ourselves and we do not need a third party. It proceeds from the fact that we do not meet often.

Heydar Aliyev: Victor Ivanovich, thank you, I agree with you, with your ideas, we talk with you about it before. If we delay the meeting it is not due to the fact that we do not want. Probably, the solution of the issue itself prolongs. I gave instruction to the prime minister and he is working with the experts on the draft submitted by you. Perhaps, you will meet him. I have not met him yet. I think there will not be a big difference of views between us in principles. I think you're your position was realistic and normal last time. We are not responsible prolongs. If you visited all these countries, and then you come again and say about holding a meeting: then there is no way for refusal. What concerns the Summit of the heads of states I accept it, but we need a complete result as you had with Kazakhstan. It would be better to sign such a document between Azerbaijan and Russia. I do not know how you will be able to sign such a document with other countries. Then we can have a meeting of five countries. In principle, I am not against it, we can have a meeting any time, but we have to think how to make the meeting of the representatives of these five countries productive.

I think we shall talk to you on this issue, and the Prime Minister will talk to you comprehensively as well. We want, as you said quite rightly to solve the issue phase by phase. It is impossible to do everything at once, must determine the principle positions. That is why, I agree with you.

Victor Kalyuzhny: In my last meeting with Nazarbayev he expressed his personal view on the necessity of such declaration between Russia and Azerbaijan. He said that he would call Heydar Aliyevich himself, and then we would talk to Niyazov trilaterally. This is his idea.

Heydar Aliyev: I accept it. In addition, I said that I believed we had to sign the whole document on this problem during the visit of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, president of Russia. This is my firm decision.

Victor Kalyuzhny: Of course, there are some specific issues of purely legislative character. Today the chair of the department of your university, lawyer Mammadov made a speech and clarified quite deeply the position of Russia on the Caspian Sea and its legal basis. The articles 7 and 11 of the Constitution cover the issue of the division of the Caspian Sea into sectors. But we should avoid infringement of the legislation and the Constitution. We have to sit at the table and to reach an agreement.

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