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Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

02/06/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/06/2019 08:31

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions following talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid[...]

We had very fruitful and concrete talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov.

We discussed practical areas of our cooperation based on the results of our meeting today with President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.

We reaffirmed our resolve to implement the agreements reached by our presidents, including the documents signed during President Vladimir Putin's visit to Ashgabat in 2017. I am referring to the Agreement on Strategic Partnership. We pointed out at our meeting with President Berdimuhamedov and the talks with my Turkmen colleague today that this agreement is the epitome of relations between Russia and Turkmenistan.

When speaking about our bilateral relations, we focused on the preparations for the next meeting of the Russian-Turkmen Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation. We expressed appreciation for the performance of the High-Level Working Group on Trade and Investment, which has been set up at the commission. We share the opinion that we should highlight joint strategic investment projects, without neglecting mutual trade. Many Russian companies, including Kamaz and Tatneft, are working in Turkmenistan and have earned a solid reputation. We are grateful to our Turkmen friends for creating comfortable conditions for the operations of Russian businesses.

We also exchanged positive views on our humanitarian and cultural exchanges. Over 30,000 students from Turkmenistan are studying in Russia. President Berdimuhamedov personally makes sure that support is provided to the Russian language at all stages of education. The Alexander Pushkin Russian-Turkmen secondary school, which was established at the president's initiative, is probably the best school of this kind in the region. At the least, it has a very good reputation.

As for other topics, we also discussed Central Asia and cooperation in the Caspian region. This year Turkmenistan will host the first ever forum of the Caspian countries. We have coordinated practical areas for the joint preparations of this major event.

We have reaffirmed the significance of the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea, which concluded 20 years of hard work by the five Caspian states. We noted that the convention assigns responsibility for dealing with any problems pertaining to the Caspian Sea to the five Caspian states.

As for the international agenda, we discussed our cooperation within the framework of the CIS, where Turkmenistan is presiding this year. We also talked about preparations for the next meeting of the CIS Council of Foreign Ministers, which is scheduled to take place in Moscow on April 5.

A large part of our talks was devoted to our interaction within the framework of the UN. We are grateful to Turkmenistan for supporting and co-authoring a great number of Russian initiatives. In particular, we talked about our joint involvement in the open-ended UN working group on international cyber security, which the UN General Assembly decided to establish two months ago.

This is all we discussed today. I have given you the gist of our talks. I would like to wholeheartedly thank our Turkmen friends for their hospitality and a warm reception, as well as for our practical, concrete and meaningful talks.

To be continued...