Lavrov: Caspian states to speed up work on military cooperation agreement

Lavrov: Caspian states to speed up work on military cooperation agreement

Leaders of the five Caspian littoral states (Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Iran) agreed to speed up the work on the agreement on reinforcement of trust-building measures and military cooperation in the Caspian Sea, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Tuesday.

"Military cooperation. We underscored the importance of cooperation in this area. It was proposed to speed up the work on the agreement on development of trust-building measures regarding military activities of Caspian littoral states," Lavrov said during a press conference after the meeting of the five Foreign Ministers.

The sides also reaffirmed that presence of armed forces of non-Caspian states in the region is out of the question.

"The sides firmly, unambiguously reaffirmed the principle of the Convention on the status of the Caspian Sea that any military presence of non-Caspian, non-littoral states here is out of the question," Lavrov noted. "Similarly, it was decided regarding navigation in general, including civilian navigation that, under the Convention on the status of the Caspian Sea, navigation here is possible only for ships carrying a flag of any of the Caspian states. This principle also covers entering and exiting the Caspian Sea by any ship. We have also reaffirmed this principle here very clearly."

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