Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

02/06/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/06/2019 04:23

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at the meeting with President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Ashgabat, February 6, 2019

Thank you very much.

Mr Berdimuhamedov,

The President of Russia has warm memories of his contacts with you. Just a little over a year ago he visited Ashgabat. A number of documents were signed, and, even more importantly, they are now being implemented. I fully agree with you that the strategic partnership opens broad opportunities. We are interested in making full use of the existing potential. The Intergovernmental Commission is scheduled to hold a meeting in the first quarter of 2019, and we want this meeting to be meaningful and adopt decisions that are as explicit as possible.

There is positive momentum in our bilateral relations in the energy sector, and we support this trend. We want the Eurasian Economic Union to offer an intelligible and convenient framework to all our partners outside the EAEU. There are plans to coordinate the work of the Central Asian Power System, in which Turkmenistan plays an essential role, with the common energy market that is expected to be created within the Eurasian Economic Union by 2025. This is a promising and large-scale project.

Speaking of other areas of cooperation between our countries, Russia proactively supports Turkmenistan's CIS chairmanship. We strongly believe that it will be carried out at the highest level. We support your plans to step up cooperation within the Caspian region. The city of Turkmenbashi will host its first ever economic forum on August 12. Once the heads of state decide on the timeline for taking stock of their achievements they will hold a summit during which new documents are expected to be signed. When the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea was signed in Aktau, Kazakhstan, in August 2018 two documents were adopted at your initiative relating to the economy, transport and science. There are new areas of cooperation, and for this reason we are committed to expanding the treaty framework on cooperation among Caspian states. It is important that the principle enshrined in the convention whereby all matters related to the Caspian region are decided by the five Caspian countries themselves remains at the core of all our undertakings.

We had a meaningful conversation with Rashid Meredov yesterday. As you have said, Mr President, our countries cooperate effectively in the United Nations. We outlined new plans that Mr Meredov and I will carry out with your approval.