Sixth Caspian Summit Focuses on Regional Development, Cooperation Across Diverse Areas
June 30, 2022 (EIRNS)—The five heads of state of the nations that make up the “Caspian Summit”—Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Iran, and Turkmenistan—met in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, June 29, to discuss regional cooperation across a wide range of areas, including military, transportation, energy, law enforcement, infrastructure, and economics. Stressing the world importance of the Caspian Sea, the attending heads of state identified the Caspian Sea as a “sea of peace, agreement, good-neighborliness, and fruitful international cooperation.” In their final communiqué, they stressed their adherence to “the principles and norms of the United Nations Charter and international law.”
In his address to the group, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered an expansive picture of the many opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation in the region, in industrial production and advanced technology as well as expanding trade and investment. He also highlighted the importance of the Caspian Economic Forum, founded by Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, which held its first forum in 2019 and will next meet in Moscow this fall.
Putin emphasized the great potential for energy cooperation—developing offshore oil and gas fields in the Caspian Sea—and plans to improve the region’s transport and logistics architecture so that it can become a major international logistics hub. That could facilitate the building of the International North-South Transport Corridor, a 7,200-km. transport artery from St. Petersburg to ports in Iran and India.
On the sidelines of the summit, Putin held productive bilateral meetings with Iranian President Sayyid Ebrahim Raisi, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, and host, Turkmen President Serdar Berdimuhamedov and the former Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. He held a press conference at the close of his working visit. Prior to arriving in Ashgabat, he had met in Dushanbe with Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon on June 28, discussing important aspects of their strategic partnership. Afghanistan was a topic of particular interest to both leaders.