The leaders of the five states bordering the resource-rich Caspian Sea signed a landmark deal Sunday on the legal status of the inland sea which boasts a wealth of oil and gas reserves and sturgeon.
The leaders of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan signed the agreement on the status of the inland sea, which has been disputed since the collapse of the Soviet Union rendered obsolete agreements between Tehran and Moscow.
"We can admit that consensus on the status of the sea was hard to reach and not immediate, the talks lasted more than 20 years and called for a lot of joint efforts from the parties," Nazarbayev said.
Russian leader Vladimir Putin, whose country was seen as driving the deal, said the convention had "epoch-making significance" and called for more military cooperation between the countries on the Caspian.
Nazarbayev said the convention allows for the construction of underwater oil and gas pipelines as well as setting national quotas for fishing and forbids any foreign military presence.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was quick to hail the clause that prevents non-Caspian countries from deploying military forces.
"The Caspian Sea only belongs to the Caspian states," he said.