Mr Putin described as positive the meetings he had had earlier on the day with Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Azerbaijani President Heidar Aliev.
He said that trade and economic partnership dominated the agenda of his meeting with the Ukrainian President. They discussed customary aspects of financial relations and a number of frontier delineation issues. The Presidents agreed to give respective orders to their governments so as to achieve progress before the next summit.
Mr Putin and Mr Nazarbayev discussed implementing a project for energy resource transportation from Kazakhstan to a Russian seaport.
Mr Putin discussed Karabakh settlement with Mr Aliev, just as with Armenian President Robert Kocharian during a meeting of the day before.
The Russian, Azerbaijani and Kazakh Presidents also had a tripartite meeting to discuss issues pertaining to the determination of the Caspian Sea legal status, and issues of regional interaction within the CIS.
Mr Putin expressed his alarm with the latest tensions in the Caspian south. He called on to do everything possible to make the Caspian a sea of peace, with all problems that might arise to be settled solely by peaceful means through direct dialogue and in compliance with international law. The use of force was inadmissible, he stressed.
Mr Putin called on to urgently come to an accord on the new Caspian status. Such an accord would help to create a firm legal basis for lucrative partnership of all Caspian states—in particular, for the development of Caspian oil and gas extraction.