Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

02/06/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/06/2019 08:49

Press point with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov following talks with President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Ashgabat, February 6, 2019

I have had a lengthy conversation with President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. On behalf of President Vladimir Putin, I conveyed his warmest greetings and wishes for success in his work as head of Turkmenistan and reaffirmed Russia's firm commitment to all agreements that were reached at the highest level, including during the Russian President's visit to Turkmenistan over a year ago.

The Strategic Partnership Treaty has entered into force. It is the foundation of all our plans and activities in most different fields, from economy to education, and our dialogue on security issues. The subject of the Caspian Sea certainly has a special place. Mr Berdimuhamedov paid special attention to this matter. In 2002, it was here, in Ashgabat, that the series of summit meetings between the leaders of the five Caspian states began. Last year, it ended with the signing of the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea. Along with that, two documents were adopted on cooperation in the field of the economy and transport initiated by the President of Turkmenistan. This year, for the first time in history, Turkmenistan is hosting an economic forum of the Caspian states, scheduled for August. The next, the sixth, summit of the Caspian leaders will also be held in Turkmenistan.

We have on the whole very good groundwork for cooperation, including in the humanitarian sphere. Today, the President of Turkmenistan underscored his full support for our cooperation in the field of education: 30,000 citizens of Turkmenistan are enrolled in Russian universities; Russian is taught at many educational institutions of Turkmenistan. A school named after Alexander Pushkin is considered the best in the region, according to professionals. Humanitarian and cultural affairs will be one of the priorities of Turkmenistan's CIS Presidency in 2019. So we have a lot of plans, and there will be a lot of events dedicated to the CIS and cooperation within the Caspian Five. In the foreseeable future, actually I hope in the very near future, a regular meeting of the bilateral Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation will be held.

All these plans have been approved by the Presidents of Russia and Turkmenistan. My colleague, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Ra┼čit Meredow, and I will coordinate the work of all agencies in the two countries so that all agreements are fully implemented for the benefit of our countries and peoples.

Question: Would it be possible for you to say a few words about bilateral cooperation in the oil and gas sector?

Sergey Lavrov: Our representatives leading the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation will take care of this. They are currently working out the dates for its implementation. During our conversation, the President of Turkmenistan expressed satisfaction with the way the matter of gas is being addressed in our current dialogue - with a view to reaching new ambitious and large-scale agreements.