The legal and political complexities affecting the Caspian Sea are critical to understanding the possible role of the South Caucasus as an energy gateway for Europe and Turkey. Uncertainty over these features can be detrimental to both the stability of existing supplies and to the ability to plan other developments in the future. This chapter examines the ongoing negotiation of a legal and political order as two analytically distinct, though empirically intertwined, processes aiming, on one hand, to formulate the formal rules pertaining to the sovereign rights and obligations of coastal states; on the other, to clarify whose interests the informal rules of the basin shall ultimately embody.
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