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Archive for the ‘Shanghai Cooperation Organization’ Category

SCO conference: “It’s ‘The world without the West’ meeting”

Posted by Kris Roman on June 15, 2009

The leaders have gathered to discuss security, economic development and other things, like finding their place in the global architecture of the new economic world, said British Times Moscow bureau editor Tony Halpin.

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Russia seeks strong role for smaller SCO members

Posted by Kris Roman on October 30, 2008

 

putin-in-scoPrime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, comprising Russia, China, and four Central Asian states, must serve the interests of both its smaller and larger members.

Putin is currently attending a Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) heads of government meeting in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana.

“There is no question of hegemony. On the contrary, we are seeking means of guaranteeing the interests of all participants in the organization,” he told reporters.

He said each SCO member state has unique competitive advantages on international markets.

“In this sense the organization is doubly needed, as we are going through a very difficult process in international finances and the world economy,” he said.

The SCO, widely seen as a counterweight to NATO’s influence in Eurasia, comprises Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. The group primarily addresses security issues, but has recently moved to embrace economic and energy projects.

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PMs from Shanghai group to discuss global financial crisis

Posted by Kris Roman on October 29, 2008

The prime ministers of Russia, China, and four Central Asian countries will meet on October 29-30 in Kazakhstan’s capital to discuss measures to overcome the ongoing financial crisis, the Kremlin press service said on Wednesday.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) premiers’ meeting “is expected to address social, economic and humanitarian cooperation among member states, and ways to improve the organization’s activities following the results of the SCO summit in Dushanbe on August 28. Special attention will be paid to SCO coordination activities amid the global financial crisis,” the Kremlin said.

The global credit crunch, sparked by the subprime mortgage crisis in the United States, quickly spread to Asia and Europe leading to record losses on global financial markets and a worldwide liquidity shortage.

The SCO, which is widely seen as a counterweight to NATO’s influence in Eurasia, comprises Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. The group primarily addresses security issues, but has recently moved to embrace economic and energy projects.

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The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) backs Russian role in Georgia conflict

Posted by Kris Roman on August 28, 2008

China and the other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) voiced their support on Thursday for Russia’s actions in Georgia and South Ossetia following the recent conflict.

However, the Asian countries stopped short of backing Russia’s move to recognize the independence of the breakaway province, along with Georgia’s other rebel region, Abkhazia.

“The leaders of the SCO member states welcome the signing in Moscow of the six principles for regulating the South Ossetia conflict, and support Russia’s active role in assisting peace and cooperation in this region,” a joint declaration adopted at the SCO summit in Tajikistan said.

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Russia seeks support from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Georgia dispute

Posted by Kris Roman on August 28, 2008

Russia’s president said on Thursday he expects China and other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to support Russia’s role in Georgia following the recent conflict.

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Shangai Organisation : ASEAN shows the way to SCO

Posted by Kris Roman on August 3, 2008

RIA Novosti political commentator Dmitry Kosyrev

The foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) have met in the capital of Tajikistan for the last time before the SCO summit in August, to approve the agenda.

The SCO is a regional organization comprising Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan have observer status.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Chinese colleague, Yang Jiechi, have come to Dushanbe from Singapore, where they attended a security forum held by ASEAN. Before that, they held bilateral talks in Beijing.

Flying almost parallel courses to Dushanbe is not a coincidence. Major Asian powers, Russia and China are very active in Southeast and Central Asia and are full members of ASEAN and the SCO, a Central Asian organization similar to ASEAN.

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Libya seeks arms deals, closer energy ties with Russia

Posted by Kris Roman on August 3, 2008

Libya’s prime minister told his Russian counterpart on Thursday that his country plans to buy more Russian arms, and wants to step up cooperation in nuclear power as well as and oil and gas production.

Vladimir Putin said after hosting talks with Libya’s al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi: “We are committed to continuing cooperation in the military-technical sphere, among others, especially since the Libyan leadership has confirmed its interest in buying quality products from the Russian defense industry.”

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Political implications of Russian-Venezuelan oil agreements

Posted by Kris Roman on July 24, 2008

RIA Novosti political commentator Oleg Mityayev

http://en.rian.ru

Many analysts expected Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who visited Moscow on July 22, to sign new agreements in military-technical cooperation, but this did not happen.

Instead, a number of Russian oil giants signed promising contracts with Venezuela. They would replace their American counterparts, previously ousted by Hugo Chavez.

Although the flamboyant Venezuelan president has visited Russia more than once since he was elected in 1999, bilateral cooperation was primarily limited to the sale of Russian weapons to Venezuela.

Last June, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin complained that mutual investment was inadequate and urged a broader partnership with Venezuela in the oil-and-gas industry as well as other spheres.

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Venezuela may spend $5 bln on Russian arms in next decade

Posted by Kris Roman on July 24, 2008

Venezuela may purchase weaponry from Russia worth $5 billion over the next 10 years, a Russian political analyst said on Wednesday.

During his official visit to Russia on Tuesday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and the Russian leadership reaffirmed their mutual drive to strengthen bilateral defense cooperation.

“Regardless of the situation on global arms markets, Venezuela under Hugo Chavez will continue to buy Russian weaponry, and may spend $5 billion or more over the next 10 years on imports of Russian military equipment,” said Ruslan Pukhov, director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies.

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Venezuela to buy more weaponry from Russia

Posted by Kris Roman on July 24, 2008

Venezuela may purchase man-portable air defense systems, Il-76 transport planes and T-90 tanks from Russian in the near future, a Russian political analyst said Thursday.

According to unofficial reports, Russia and Venezuela signed a new framework agreement Wednesday on delivery of Russian air defense systems, tanks and military transport planes to the Latin American country.

“The new agreement, most likely, involves purchases of Igla man-portable air defense systems, Il-76MD military transport planes and T-90 main battle tanks,” said Ruslan Pukhov, director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies.

Pukhov has estimated that Venezuela could spend $5 billion or more over the next 10 years on Russian military equipment.

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Venezuelan president arrives in Moscow

Posted by Kris Roman on July 22, 2008

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez arrived in Moscow on Tuesday for “strategic” talks on political, economic and defense cooperation.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will receive Chavez later on Tuesday. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is also expected to meet with the Venezuelan leader.

Upon his arrival in Moscow, Chavez called for Russia and Venezuela to become strategic partners in oil and defense, something he said would “guarantee Venezuela’s sovereignty, which is currently being threatened by the United States.”

Ahead of his two-day visit, Chavez thanked Moscow for its recent support, including the provision of loans for the modernization of Venezuela’s armed forces.

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Russia plans to reinforce its air base in Kyrgyzstan

Posted by Kris Roman on June 4, 2008

Russia’s Air Force is planning to increase in the near future the number of combat aircraft and personnel deployed at the Kant air base in Kyrgyzstan, the Air Force commander said on Wednesday.

The Russian base in Kant, about 20 miles west of the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, was established in October 2003, and currently deploys about 400 troops, including 250 officers and NCOs and 150 conscripts, as well as several Su-25 Frogfoot attack aircraft and Su-27 Flanker fighters, two Mi-8 combat transport helicopters, and four L-39 combat trainers.

“The base will soon receive four combat trainers from the Krasnodar military pilot school, an An-26 transport plane and several new Su-27 aircraft,” Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin said.

“We will also start a comprehensive flight training program for young pilots there,” he added.

The 2003 bilateral agreement between Russia and Kyrgyzstan stipulates the presence of the Kant air base in the Central Asian republic for 15 years with an automatic extension every five years after the expiration of the original term.

The agreement is in the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization – a regional security bloc in Central Asia, which also includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Kyrgyz Defense Minister Ismail Isakov said in March that Russia annually pays some $4.5 million to Kyrgyzstan for military bases and also provides Bishkek with military and technical equipment as part of the lease agreements.

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Russian arms help Chavez launch guerrilla warfare against USA

Posted by Kris Roman on May 19, 2008

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has urged soldiers to prepare for a guerrilla-style war against the United States.
He said the US government is using psychological and economic warfare as part of an unconventional campaign aimed at derailing his government.

Dressed in olive green fatigues and a red beret, Chavez spoke yesterday inside Tiuna Fort – Venezuela’s military nerve-centre – before hundreds of uniformed soldiers standing alongside armoured vehicles and tanks decorated with banners reading: “Fatherland,Socialism, or Death! We will triumph!”

“We must continue developing the resistance war, that’s the anti-imperialist weapon. We must think and prepare for the resistance war everyday,” said Chavez, who has repeatedly warned that American soldiers could invade Venezuela to seize control of the South American nation’s immense oil reserves.

US officials reject claims that Washington is considering a military attack. But the US government has expressed concern over what it perceives as a significant arms built-up here,irishexaminer.com reports.

Under Chavez, Venezuela has recently purchased some $3 billion worth of arms from Russia, including 53 military helicopters, 100,000 Kalashnikov rifles, 24 SU-30 Sukhoi fighter jets.

Last week, Chavez said he is considering arms purchases, including submarines and a missile-equipped air defense system, as he prepares for a tour of Russia, Belarus and Iran.

“We are strengthening Venezuela’s military power precisely to avoid imperial aggressions and assure peace, not to attack anybody,” he said Sunday.

Opposition leader Julio Borges condemned the president’s interest in acquiring weapons, saying the government should focus on reducing violent crime in Venezuela, which has one of the highest homicide rates in Latin America, the AP reports.

Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez travels this week to Iran, Russia and Belarus — all countries which have found themselves at loggerheads recently with the United States, his longtime nemesis.

Chavez departs Tuesday for his week-long tour, from June 26 to July 3, defiantly insisting that he will purchase Russian submarines and possibly an air defense system from Belarus, despite vocal objections from Washington.

Chavez, who views himself as Bush’s arch-enemy, will be cultivating relations with each of the regimes, in an apparent bid to drive an even deeper wedge with between the United States and its adversaries.

Each of the countries on Chavez’s itinerary has locked horns with Washington in recent weeks over conflicts that have yet to be resolved.

Chavez has said he hopes to put the “finishing touches” on an agreement to purchase from Belarus an integrated air defense system with a 200-300-kilometer range (125-200 miles).

Earlier this month, US President George W. Bush renewed sanctions against hard-line Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and nine others deemed obstacles to democracy in Belarus.

Bush accused the regime of human rights abuses, undermining democracy, illegally detaining and secretly holding dissidents and engaging in public corruption.

Relations between Russia and the United States, meanwhile, are at a post-Cold War low due to political and security differences.

Specifically, Moscow and Washington have traded barbs about a US plan to place interceptor missiles in Poland and elements of a linked radar system in the Czech Republic.

Bush will welcome Russian President Vladimir Putin to his family’s compound in Kennebunkport, Maine on July 1 and 2 — on the heels of Chavez’ visit to Moscow — in an effort to smooth over differences.

Flush with petrodollars, Chavez said last week he might purchase some Russian submarines when he meets with Putin — a deal observers said could chill the planned Putin-Bush summit.

Media reports in Moscow this month said Chavez wanted to buy as many as nine submarines to protect shipping lanes for key oil exports, AFPreports.

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China eyes Russian farmlands in food push

Posted by Kris Roman on May 12, 2008

Chinese companies will be encouraged to buy, or take on lease, farmlands abroad to help guarantee food security, under a plan being considered by Beijing. The move comes amid a food crisis in China.China has about 40 per cent of the world’s farmers, but just 9 per cent of the world’s arable land.

Africa and South America are among the most likely directions. Russia’s also in the list. However, according to the country’s constitution, foreign companies aren’t allowed to buy Russian land, though still possible to lease.

Acquiring farmlands abroad is now becoming a trend around the globe. Oil-rich but food-poor countries in the Middle East and North Africa explore similar options. Libya is now in talks with Ukraine about growing wheat in the former Soviet republic, while Saudi Arabia says it will invest in agricultural and livestock projects abroad to ensure food security and control commodity prices.

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Venezuela to buy Russian weaponry worth $2 bln

Posted by Kris Roman on May 12, 2008

en.rian.ru

Venezuela is planning to conclude several contracts with Russia next month on the purchase of military equipment worth at least $2 billion, a leading Russian business daily said on Monday.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is expected to pay an official visit to Moscow at the end of May to conclude the necessary agreements with Russia’s new President Dmitry Medvedev, who earlier pledged to maintain close military cooperation with Caracas, the Kommersant newspaper reported.

Oil-rich Venezuela is a major purchaser of Russian weapons and hardware. In 2005-2006, Venezuela ordered weaponry from Russia worth $3.4 billion, including 24 Su-30MK2V Flanker fighters, Tor-M1 air defense missile systems, Mi-17B multi-role helicopters, Mi-35 Hind E attack helicopters and Mi-26 Halo heavy transport helicopters.

Russia has repeatedly stated that it will actively participate in the modernization of the Venezuelan armed forces until 2013.

Kommersant said negotiations were underway on the purchase of 10 Il-76 Candid military transport planes and two Il-78-MK aerial tankers for the Venezuelan Air Force. The contract will be worth a total of $600 million.

Deliveries will be completed next year. The aircraft will replace six outdated American Lockheed C-130H Hercules transport planes and two Boeing 707-320C aerial tankers.

Venezuela and Russia have also agreed on the purchase of four Kilo-class Project 636 diesel submarines. The terms of the deal, estimated at $1.2 billion, were negotiated late last year.

The Project 636 submarine is designed for anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface-ship warfare, and also for general reconnaissance and patrol missions. It is considered to be one of the quietest diesel submarines in the world.

In addition, Caracas has expressed an interest in purchasing Mi-28NE Night Hunter attack helicopters.

Kommersant said Venezuela may buy at least 10 Night Hunters for a total of $200 million, with delivery beginning in the second half of 2009.

The advanced Mi-28N helicopters were inducted into the Russian Air Force last September. The first four aircraft will join the Russian Air Force in 2009 after additional testing.

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Russia, Mongolia sign uranium accord: reports

Posted by Kris Roman on May 6, 2008

Russia and Mongolia signed on Friday an agreement on cooperation in the uranium sector, as Moscow pushes to develop nuclear power in the neighbouring state, Russian news agencies reported.”The signing of this document ensures a multi-faceted approach to developing aspects of atomic energy in Mongolia,” the head of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, Sergei Kiriyenko, was quoted by Interfax as saying.

“Mongolia has decent reserves of natural uranium. I think they are more than officially registered, over 100,000 tonnes,” he said.

The signing came during a visit by Mongolian Prime Minister Sanj Bayar, who was due to meet President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin said.

Friday’s agreement focused on prospecting, extraction and processing of uranium, an area where Russia is a major player.

On Thursday Rosatom quoted Kiriyenko as saying Russia was already carrying out feasibility studies for the construction of a small or medium-sized nuclear power plants in Mongolia.

Russia has long-standing ties with Mongolia and Russian corporations are pushing to develop coal mining projects in the country, a point noted by the Kremlin.

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Caspian nations pledge support for non-proliferation treaty

Posted by Kris Roman on April 30, 2008

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is key to international stability and security, participants in a summit of Caspian nations said in a joint statement on Tuesday. The five countries – Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan, confirmed “the unassailable right of all signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to research, produce, and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, without discrimination, and within the provisions of this treaty, and the safeguards of the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency],” the statement said. The second summit of Caspian nations opened in Tehran earlier in the day, and is expected to bring closer an agreement on dividing the resources of the sea between its five littoral states. The summit held at the Sadabad Palace, a former residence of an Iranian shah, in northern Tehran was preceded by a bilateral meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

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Putin Calls For Shared Use Of Most Of Caspian Sea

Posted by Kris Roman on April 30, 2008

Russian President Vladimir Putin told a Caspian summit in Tehran that the bulk of the Caspian Sea should be left for the common use of its five littoral states. “The Caspian Sea should not be covered by numerous state borders, sectors and exclusive zones,” Putin said. “The less territory they occupy and the more water remains in common use, the better.” The Russian leader said the Caspian states could develop oil and gas resources under the seabed using existing national zones for mineral use, which have already been defined in the northern part of the sea.

“We believe that in the southern Caspian also, interested parties will be able to find a balanced and mutually acceptable solution. To reach an agreement on delimiting the seabed for mineral use, there is no need to wait for a convention to be drawn up on its legal status, we can act in a five-way format,” Putin said.

The summit’s host, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said: “Energy resources should benefit all countries, regardless of the development stage they are at.”

Among priority spheres for cooperation, the Russian leader highlighted comprehensive security and stability in the region, including “security of navigation, the protection of oil and gas production facilities and the joint fight against international terrorism and extremism.”

He pointed to specific initiatives in the sphere, such as a draft stability pact proposed by Kazakhstan, and Iran’s initiative to sign an agreement on confidence and stability measures. Putin also mentioned Russia’s proposal to set up a joint naval group for strategic cooperation on the Caspian Sea, to be named CasFor.

Among other things, Russia has proposed building a canal as soon as possible to connect the Caspian Sea to the Black and Azov seas to establish a North-South transport corridor, Putin said.

The Iranian leader urged for laws to be coordinated on “the presence of military and other ships on the Caspian Sea.”

Speaking on a draft declaration to be adopted at the summit, Putin said: “We acknowledge the need to solve a number of key issues… considering our interests and maintaining sovereignty, and refraining from any use of force.”

Both Putin and Ahmadinejad urged countries to act responsibly to preserve the sea’s resources.

The ongoing summit, attended by the leaders of Iran, Russia, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, is expected to yield a political declaration on the long-debated status of the sea, which could act as a guideline until the approval of a convention on the issue.

 

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Over 110 aircraft to take part in CIS command-and-staff drill

Posted by Kris Roman on April 22, 2008

 

More than 110 military aircraft from eight CIS states will take part in a large-scale command-and-staff exercise on April 22 led by the Joint Air Defense Force, a senior Russian military official said Monday.

“Over 20 scenarios will be rehearsed, designed at strengthening the air space of CIS countries – Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan,” said Lt.Gen. Vadim Volkovitsky, deputy commander of the Russian Air Force.

He said command of the drill will be provided by Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin, Russian Air Force chief, from the Central Command and Control Post.

More than 10 missile, air defense, anti-aircraft, and electronic warfare units will rehearse missions to protect the air space around Moscow and the Central Federal District.

MiG-29 Fulcrum and Su-27 Flanker fighters will practice interception missions.

 

 

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Iran proposes missile shield against U.S., Israel

Posted by Kris Roman on April 10, 2008

Iran’s defense minister said the world needs a missile shield to protect against threats from Israel and the United States. Tehran has joined Russia in opposing U.S. plans to deploy elements of its missile defense system in Central Europe to counter possible strikes from “rogue states,” specifically Iran.

“If the world needs an anti-missile shield, it must be used to counter missiles and the nuclear menace coming from the U.S. and Israel, which directly or indirectly threaten different countries with aggression and war,” Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said. The minister said U.S. claims that the European missile shield would defend against Iran’s missiles were nothing but a sham.

“Our country’s missile arsenal is purely defense-oriented and is only a threat to aggressors,” the minister said.

Washington plans to deploy interceptor missiles in Poland in addition to installing radars in the Czech Republic. The ten missiles in Poland could be placed on duty by 2013.

Najjar said Tehran was open to cooperation with every country except Israel, whichIran does not recognize, to ensure stability and security in the Middle East.

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Iran moves to join Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Posted by Kris Roman on March 25, 2008

 

Iran has lodged a bid to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) that comprises Russia, China and four ex-Soviet Central Asian states, the country’s foreign minister said on Monday.

The Islamic Republic, which currently holds an observer status in the regional security group, has long sought to become a full member of the SCO, seen as a counterbalance to U.S. and NATO influence in the region.

“Tajikistan supports us in this issue,” Manouchehr Mottaki said after a meeting with the foreign ministers of SCO member Tajikistan and Afghanistan, which is another SCO observer along with India, Pakistan and Mongolia.

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Caspian States Adopt Declaration On Repelling Aggressors

Posted by Kris Roman on October 18, 2007

The five Caspian Sea littoral states adopted a declaration at their second summit on Tuesday in Tehran, pledging to deny access to third countries who intend to use force against any Caspian state. “The parties stress that they will not allow other countries to use their territories for acts of aggression or other military operations against any party,” the declaration reads. The signatories pledged efforts to build and enhance mutual confidence, regional security, and stability, and to refrain from the use of force in solving mutual problems.

Participants said in their joint declaration that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was vital to international stability and security.

The five countries – Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan – confirmed “the unassailable right of all signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to research, produce, and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, without discrimination, and within the provisions of this treaty, and the safeguards of the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency],” the statement said.

The declaration also asserts the countries’ “responsibility for damage inflicted on Caspian resources and to any Caspian state from the use of the Caspian Sea and development of its resources.”

The five nations acknowledged that “Caspian resources, and the sea’s sturgeon population, require the adoption of joint emergency action to prevent negative environmental consequences.”

The summit participants said a future convention on the legal status of the sea should respect sovereign rights of Caspian states, and include environmental regulations, navigation norms and economic rules.

The declaration also spoke for “peaceful, just and stable solutions to conflicts in line with the United Nations charter, also taking into account sovereignty, territorial integrity and the inviolability of internationally recognized borders to ensure security, peace and stability in the region.”

Summit host Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the declaration was a strong response to those who seek to damage cooperation between Caspian nations.

“Those opposed to peace and friendship among Caspian nations pursue their illegal interests, and the declaration by the heads of Caspian countries is a strong response to them,” he said.

Ahmadinejad said agreements reached at the summit were a turning point in Caspian cooperation. “Besides signing the first political document [a joint declaration], we agreed to establish a Caspian economic partnership organization.”

The president said that next summer would see an economic conference of Caspian states held under the chairmanship of the Russian president, which will be attended by premiers and economics ministers.

The Iranian leader said an agreement had been reached that the foreign ministers of the littoral states would meet twice each year, and the presidents once a year. “The next summit of Caspian nations will be held in Baku in October 2008 and hosted by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev,” Ahmadinejad said.

 

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