President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,
Today, a very important and landmark event has taken place – the signing of the Convention On the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea, an international agreement that contains a detailed and comprehensive set of rules and obligations on the use and preservation of our common treasure – the Caspian Sea. Thus, the multifaceted interaction of the 'Caspian five' states was given a present-day legal foundation that will serve us for years to come.
It is crucially important to note that the Convention confers upon the five states exclusive and sovereign rights to use the Caspian Sea, to pursue its responsible development and to use its assets and other resources, while firmly securing the settlement of all pressing issues based on the principles of consensus and mutual consideration of each other’s interests, and bestowing upon the Caspian a peaceful status, and ensuring that armed forces of non-regional countries are not present in the Caspian region.
We have been striving for many years to develop and approve this strategic and fundamental document. Substantial efforts have been made to hold negotiations with the participation of numerous government agencies of our countries and have involved experts from business communities.
The success achieved – and this is undoubtedly a success – was made possible largely due to the high level of trust and mutual understanding that exists between the leaders of the Caspian states and our readiness to always follow the logic of respect, partnership and equality. I would like to express appreciation to all heads of state present today.
Such a joint approach actually showed its efficiency and relevance. It showed that joint efforts can result in achieving ambitious goals in any, even the most complicated issues, in finding a compromise and balanced solutions of mutual interest. In today's difficult international conditions, this carries a lot of weight.
The signing of the Convention opens a new stage in the relations of the Caspian states and allows us to secure prosperity and provide for dynamic development of our common region together.
I note with satisfaction that today we have also signed a comprehensive package of agreements that expand and add to the Convention in the most important and pressing issues of interaction.
The plans of the Caspian states include boosting economic cooperation, expanding trade and investment ties, cooperation in the energy sector, developing the region's transport and logistic potential, and boosting tourist flows. Particular attention will be paid to preserving the rich nature and biodiversity of the Caspian Sea.
Of course, the Caspian countries attach great importance to the issues of security and counteracting today's challenges and threats. We have to take into account the fact that the Caspian Sea is located near hotbeds of tension and areas of international terrorist activity – I am referring to the Middle East and Afghanistan.
That is why our countries are committed to strengthening comprehensive interaction of our special services and border agencies, and to promoting coordination in foreign policy.
All the above-mentioned issues form an actual and positive long-term agenda for Caspian cooperation. We are facing serious and interesting tasks. And we are intent on consistently solving them.
In conclusion, I would like to once again express my appreciation to our Kazakh friends and President Nazarbayev, first of all, for the warm hospitality, and congratulate all of us and all colleagues on the successful holding of this summit.
Thank you for your attention.