Dmitry Medvedev watched the start of the final stage of the rally together with President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov — the leaders of the countries whose territories the rally crosses.
The three countries’ leaders welcomed the racing drivers and team members and wished them success in the final stretch. The three presidents spoke with the racing drivers once the official ceremonies were over. The rally’s organisers presented the three leaders with souvenirs of the event – cups, racing driver suits and helmets.
The Silk Way Rally was an initiative proposed by the President of Turkmenistan and supported by the leaders of Russia and Kazakhstan. The rally’s 4,350-kilometre route follows the ancient Silk Way in places, and the final stretches of the race cross the Karakum Desert.
The rally started on September 5, 2009 in Kazan. A total of 51 teams in cars and 20 teams in trucks from 25 different countries, including Brazil, Germany, Italy, Mongolia, Russia, Spain, Turkmenistan, and the USA took part. The rally will end on September 13, 2009 in Ashgabat.
Later that day, Mr Medvedev and his Turkmenistani counterpart, Mr Berdimuhamedov, discussed bilateral cooperation, above all in the energy sector. Talks focused in particular on stepping up cooperation in the gas sector and the outlook for carrying out new strategic projects.
The two presidents witnessed the signing of a production sharing agreement between Russian company Itera and Turkmenistan’s State Agency for Hydrocarbon Resources Management and Use on bloc 21 of Turkmenistan’s sector of the Caspian Sea.
Mr Medvedev was visiting Turkmenistan at the invitation of President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.