Politics rather than economics dominated the interests of great powers in the Caspian Sea region in the Yeltsin era, although geo-economics and geo-politics are interwoven in the Caspian Sea region (see Blank 2001: 136, 138). The demise of the USSR increased the number of independent states bordering the Caspian Sea from two (the USSR and Iran) to five (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan and Iran) and thus called into question the international treaties signed on the use of the sea between the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic and Iran in 1921, and the USSR and Iran in 1940. Despite numerous rounds of talks over the years, the five littoral states have still not reached agreement on a convention defining the legal status of the sea and how to divide its resources.