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Summit of the Council of heads of government of the Commonwealth of Independent States – Ashgabat – 31 May 2019

A meeting of the Council of heads of government of the Commonwealth of Independent States was held in Ashgabat under the chairmanship of President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov.

Before the summit, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov met with Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev.

Heads of delegations attending the summit:

  • Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan Novruz Ismail oglu Mammadov
  • Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Mher Grigoryan
  • Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus Sergey Rumas
  • Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Askar Mamin
  • Deputy Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic zhenish Razakov
  • Representative of the Republic of Moldova Victor Sorochan
  • Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev
  • first Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Tajikistan, Davlatali Said
  • Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan Abdullah Aripov.

Narrow format

Having declared the 73rd meeting of the Council of heads of government of the Commonwealth of Independent States open, the President of Turkmenistan noted that the newly appointed Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Askar Mamin takes part as a member of the Council for the first time.

Welcoming the head of the government of Kazakhstan on behalf of the Council and on his own behalf, the Turkmen leader wished success in his responsible activities.

Noting that the heads of delegations who are not members of the Council have the appropriate decision-making powers, the head of state said that the Republic of Moldova takes part in the meeting in the status of observer.

Then President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov gave the floor to the Chairman of the Executive Committee – the Executive Secretary of the CIS Sergey Lebedev, who made the report on organizational issues.

After the adoption of the agenda of the meeting and its regulations, the Turkmen leader invited the participants to exchange views on topical issues of economic cooperation within the CIS, giving them the floor.

In their speeches, the heads of delegations praised the organizational level of the Ashgabat Summit. They also expressed confidence that the meeting held within the framework of the chairmanship of Turkmenistan in the CIS will contribute to forging mutually beneficial trade and economic partnership between the CIS countries.

As noted, the actual tasks of the present time are the increase in the volume of mutual trade, the development on a comprehensive basis of relations in various areas, the exchange of experience in the industrial sector, as well as the promotion of fruitful contacts in the cultural and humanitarian sphere. One of the key vectors of cooperation was also the coordination of common efforts in countering the threats and challenges of our time.

In recent years, in the economic systems of the CIS countries the priority is given to innovative development and digitalization. And this, in turn, leads to the introduction of advanced technologies in the production, mutually beneficial exchange of experience between specialists from the CIS countries.

The speeches highlighted the long-term nature of the initiatives of the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov, which are embodied in specific documents. This is a distinctive feature of the current forum, as well as confirmation of the focus of the Commonwealth States on an effective multi-faceted partnership with a view to the future.

It was stressed that the adoption by the UN General Assembly of the Resolution “Cooperation between the United Nations and the International Fund for saving the Aral sea” is a matter of pride not only for the countries of the region, but also for the CIS States. In this context, congratulating the head of state on this significant event, the participants of the meeting confirmed the readiness of the parties to continue to fully support the constructive initiatives put forward by Turkmenistan.

It was also noted that cooperation in the format of authoritative international organizations, first of all, the UN and the OSCE, is among the priority areas of partnership of the CIS countries.

Thanking the heads of delegations for their constructive statements, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov, concluding the exchange of views, outlined the point of view of Turkmenistan on topical issues of economic cooperation in the Commonwealth format, including taking into account the chairmanship of our country in the CIS.

Today, in accordance with the agreed schedule, a regular meeting of the Council of heads of government of the Commonwealth of Independent States takes place, the agenda of which includes a number of issues of great importance, the President of Turkmenistan said. Expressing confidence that appropriate decisions will be taken on them, the President outlined one of the main topics of the upcoming discussion the further development of trade and economic cooperation between the CIS countries.

For Turkmenistan, this area of partnership within the framework of the Commonwealth is a priority. We believe it requires special attention, coordination of efforts in such promising segments as energy, industry, transport, trade, the head of state stressed.

In this context, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov spoke about the need for systematic and targeted cooperation in these areas, the development of joint projects focused on strategic objectives for the integration of the CIS countries to continental and Intercontinental economic relations along the West-East and North-South directions.

Today, the Commonwealth needs broad and strong integration ties on an international scale, involving the participation of our countries in major infrastructure projects not only in the CIS, but also abroad. Speaking about this, the President stressed that the logic of modern global development dictates the need for a strategic vision of the prospects of the Commonwealth, a clear designation of its role as a major economic entity capable of implementing large-scale projects covering the CIS and adjacent regions.

Only in this way the Commonwealth can become an attractive pole of multilateral economic cooperation for many countries and integration structures, a promising partner for international investment funds and financial institutions. It is obvious that acting only within our own borders, we will not achieve this, said President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov.

Therefore, Turkmenistan stands for expanding the horizons of cooperation, persistently promotes the idea of the CIS participation in the implementation of major transport, energy, communication projects to the South, East and West of the Commonwealth, for which there are labor, resource, production and technological opportunities.

The CIS is a natural territory covering Asia and Europe, and we should take maximum benefits of these advantages, not wait for partners from other countries to come to us, but create new platforms for economic growth and advanced development, offer other nations profitable and promising projects, the Turkmen leader said. Turkmenistan sees this as a strategic perspective for the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Earlier, our country put forward relevant initiatives, which generally found support in the CIS member States, for which the Turkmen side is grateful to them. Today, we look forward to a substantive discussion of further joint steps in this direction, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov stressed, noting that it will be useful to exchange views and proposals on increasing mutual trade, its diversification. To do this, there are all the opportunities, good practices, useful experience of joint activities that need to be used as much as possible.

We hope for more effective coordination of our work on the part of the CIS Economic Council, we expect from it proposals aimed at giving our partnership the proper specificity, focus on the final results, the Turkmen leader said.

At the same time, the head of state noted that the main approaches to enhancing cooperation in the sphere of economy and its priorities are set out in the draft Declaration on strategic economic cooperation of the CIS member States, to be adopted at the meeting of the CIS Council of heads of state in October this year in Ashgabat.

Identifying an important theme of the promotion of durable peace and security in the CIS, the head of state stated that against the backdrop of the current difficult foreign policy processes, observed in several regions of the world, it is important to maintain within the Commonwealth the stability and good neighbourly relations based on mutual understanding, trust, openness and respect to each other.

President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov also expressed opinion that today more focused interaction of the CIS countries on the world stage, on the platforms of authoritative international organizations is required. In this regard, in October 2017 Turkmenistan proposed to intensify contacts between the foreign ministries of the Commonwealth States and to develop a medium-term action program for this purpose. The draft document is ready in principle. Its adoption is planned at the regular meeting of the Council of foreign Ministers of the CIS on 10 October this year in Ashgabat.

Due attention is paid to the cooperation of our countries in the cultural and humanitarian sphere during today’s meeting. Two weeks ago, the XIV Forum of creative and scientific intelligentsia of the CIS countries was successfully held in Ashgabat, which was attended by prominent figures of science, education, culture and arts of our countries. As the Chairman of the CIS this year, Turkmenistan has planned to host a number of interesting cultural events, the leader of the nation said, inviting friends from the Commonwealth States to participate in them.

Then, turning to the question of the date and venue of the next meeting of the Council of heads of government of the Commonwealth of Independent States, President Berdymuhamedov gave the floor to the Chairman of The Executive Committee – the Executive Secretary of the CIS Sergey Lebedev.

He announced the decision to hold a regular meeting of the CIS Council of heads of government on 25 October 2019 in Moscow.

Expanded format

Then the summit continued in an expanded format, with the participation of members of the delegations of the CIS countries, as well as representatives of the media.

Speech by President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov

Dear heads of government of the Commonwealth of Independent States!

Dear members of delegations!

Ladies and gentlemen!

First of all, I would like to warmly and cordially welcome the leaders of the CIS governments to Ashgabat. I am grateful to all participants for the accepted invitation, for active and fruitful joint work at all stages of preparation of our meeting.

Dear participants!

The Commonwealth of Independent States, being an original, unique association, today carries out its activities in the new political and economic terms caused by the trends of global development.

In this regard, we are deeply convinced that a thoughtful, in-depth analysis of the processes taking place in the modern world is required. This is necessary for an adequate and timely response to changes in world politics and the economy, to determine clear approaches to the development of the main areas of work within the framework of the Commonwealth.

Our countries, united by geography, common historical experience and numerous humanitarian ties, will have to find their rightful place in these changing conditions. Of course, every state, every nation has the right to choose its own path, where, with whom and in what areas to cooperate.

But I think that the CIS states need to make full use of the objective advantages that we have, first of all, in terms of geo-economics. This is primarily the aim of Turkmenistan’s initiatives to bring the partnership within the CIS to broader geographical and economic horizons.

First of all, we are talking about our well-known proposals in the field of transport, logistics and energy, which we first made during the CIS Summit in Sochi in 2017. As known, the essence of our proposals is  more active participation of the CIS countries in the implementation of large-scale infrastructure projects in Eurasia, along the East-West and North-South directions that go beyond the borders of the Commonwealth.

There are already good examples of such projects, in which the CIS countries take part. The Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway, which is capable of transporting up to 10-12 million tons of cargo annually, creates an opportunity for all the Commonwealth States to connect to the transport infrastructure in the southern direction – to the Persian Gulf and the Middle East.

Turkmenistan jointly with Uzbekistan is building a new transit corridor, which will allow to reach the sea ports of Iran, Oman and India by a short route. Together with Azerbaijan, we are actively working on an effective connectivity of Central Asia, the Caspian and the Black seas.

In fact, an extensive, integrated transport network covering a vast continental space is being formed. In this configuration, the participation of the CIS countries is natural and beneficial. It also fits into the logic of ensuring the legitimate interests of the CIS countries that do not have direct access to the sea.

In this context, I want to emphasize that in May last year, the construction and modernization of the International port of Turkmenbashi was completed on the Caspian coast of Turkmenistan. Today it is a powerful, multifunctional terminal, equipped with the latest technology, focused on transport links between Asia and Europe. In this capacity, the port of Turkmenbashi, without exaggeration, is intended to become one of the largest transport hubs of continental importance. The benefits of making full use of its opportunities for the CIS countries are obvious.

In general, I think the role of the Caspian sea is key in the context of Eurasian economic cooperation. The Caspian sea is intended to become a strategic hub for uniting business interests not only of the coastal countries themselves, but also of other States, including CIS members. This dictates our initiative to convene the First Caspian economic forum, which will be held in Turkmenbashi on August 12 this year.

We expect that the forthcoming forum will hold a serious and substantive discussion on the prospects of cooperation in the Caspian sea in such a broad context. I take this opportunity to invite delegations from all CIS countries to take part in it.

I consider the participation of the Commonwealth States in the implementation of multilateral projects in the energy sector to be relevant. First of all, we are talking about long-term energy supplies to the regions adjacent to the CIS in the eastern and southern directions – China, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

A number of CIS countries are among the largest producers and suppliers of hydrocarbons in Eurasia. A strong resource base and transit advantages make it possible to implement large-scale, unique projects for the delivery of energy sources to international markets. A striking example of this is the construction of a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to China, part of which ran via Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.

The same is relevant to the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project, which is already in full swing. I think that this project opens up prospects for various forms of participation by the interested CIS States. This may include the construction of related infrastructure, services, equipment and machinery necessary for the implementation of the project.

I am convinced that in the context of diversifying energy flows, our states have every opportunity to realize their potential.

We also see real prospects for the involvement of major continental integration structures, the members of which are the CIS countries – the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Eurasian Economic Community. I am convinced of the feasibility of such interaction, their conformity with the common interest.

I am sure that the potential of the CIS today is far from being revealed in such a promising area as communications. Only the availability of modern, reliable infrastructure in this area will allow our countries to fully integrate into the system of world economic relations, and in the future to reach the leading position in the trade and economic partnership on the continent.

On 23 February last year, the laying of the fiber-optic communication line Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan took place. We consider this event as the beginning of the implementation of plans to create a widecommunication network, covering many states and entire regions. We call on the CIS partners to study the possibilities of their participation in the implementation of such projects.

I am convinced that the construction of cross-border transport, energy and communication infrastructure is the most solid and reasonable guarantee of the accelerated economic development of our states, the growth of human well-being, the creation of additional jobs, and the attraction of large foreign investments.

All this, in turn, will contribute to the steady strengthening of regional security, the creation of a favorable political climate necessary for constructive inter-state cooperation, joint effective response to current challenges.

Dear participants!

The partnership in the sphere of innovative development and high technologies is a highly important topic of our cooperation. This is again dictated by the course of modern global development, where innovation is synonymous with efficiency and competitiveness.

I am deeply convinced that in the CIS countries, without exception, there is a potential for innovative growth, there are excellent research centers, advanced technological developments. We need to join our efforts in this area, to give the economies of our countries a pronounced innovative character, a digital dimension.

We consider it expedient that the relevant structures of the Commonwealth and the CIS Executive Committee have to prepare concrete proposals.

Of course, the topic of mutual trade within the CIS, the increase in trade turnover and its diversification remains urgent. The structural compatibility of our economies, the experience of joint trade activities allow us to work effectively, improve the mechanisms of economic relations and trade operations, to enter into projects in industrial cooperation, the service sector.

In this context, I see the important role of cross-border and regional trade, small and medium-sized businesses. In this regard, we are aimed at closer cooperation through the business community with access to joint projects, the wide holding of exhibitions and fairs of producers within the CIS.

Dear members of delegations!

Issues of reliable maintenance of peace and security remain fundamental in the agenda of cooperation within the CIS.

The space of the CIS, for various reasons, is in close or in proximity to some hotbeds of international tension. These are realities that we have to reckon with, and therefore there is a need for the close, effective cooperation of the CIS states in ensuring security. The diplomacy of our countries has a special role to play here.

In order to give the necessary impetus to this work, Turkmenistan has prepared and sent for consideration to all CIS countries a draft Programme of action to enhance the partnership between the foreign ministries of the CIS member States. We appreciate received from them proposals and recommendations to the draft of this document. I am confident that the Programme will be adopted within the agreed time frame and will serve as a starting point for further joint work.

The most important area of foreign policy cooperation between the CIS countries remains the activities of international organizations, primarily the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. We need to strengthen the coordination of our countries’ work in these structures and come up with joint initiatives and proposals in areas where the common interests of the CIS countries are obvious.

In my opinion, these are such areas as the fight against terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking, combating cybercrime, in general, ensuring information security.

The issues of energy cooperation, ecology, food security, migration policy are no less important today.

The cultural and humanitarian sphere remains a strong and reliable link between the CIS States and peoples. I am pleased to note that much has been done and is being done in this direction, cooperation is developing consistently, covering new areas. Most importantly, such cooperation enjoys the full support of the peoples of our countries.

In 2019, Turkmenistan, as the Chairman of the CIS, prepared a plan of cultural events. They already started. Just two weeks ago, the XIV Forum of scientific and creative intelligentsia of the CIS countries, which brought together prominent figures of science, education, culture and art from all the CIS countries, was successfully held in Ashgabat. Other events will be held in our country, where we will be glad to see representatives from the CIS states.

An important place in the development of cultural and humanitarian cooperation should be taken by children and youth topics, student and teacher exchanges. We count on the initiative role of the Interstate Fund for humanitarian cooperation of the CIS member States and are ready to assist and support it.

We consider it necessary to intensify our partnership in studying and popularizing the rich cultural and historical heritage of our peoples, in carrying out archaeological and ethnographic researches in the CIS countries, in library and archival affairs, and in preserving monuments.

Dear heads of government!

Dear participants!

Having assumed the chairmanship of the Commonwealth of Independent States this year, Turkmenistan approached this mission with full responsibility. We are clearly aware of the importance of our cooperation, which often directly affects the interests and immediate needs of the people living in our countries. It is important to maintain respect and equality in relations between the CIS States, to take into account each other’s interests, the ability, if necessary, to find compromises and mutually acceptable solutions.

I am convinced that the potential of the CIS, based on the talent and hard work of our peoples, rich historical experience, is great and multifaceted. Today, we must effectively promote its disclosure and maximize the use of existing opportunities – production, logistics, resources, science, technology – so that the Commonwealth of Independent States will take its place among the powerful and positive factors and actors not only in political life, but also in economic development on a global scale. Turkmenistan is ready for the most active cooperation on this path.

In conclusion, I would like to wish successful and fruitful work to all those present, and once again express my gratitude to the partners from the Commonwealth States, as well as to the Executive Secretary of the CIS Sergey Lebedev, all members of his team for their great contribution to the preparation and holding of this meeting.

***

Then the President of Turkmenistan gave the floor to the Chairman of the Executive Committee – the Executive Secretary of the CIS, who made a presentation on the issues discussed at the meeting in the narrow format.

During the summit, a detailed and meaningful exchange of views on current areas of economic cooperation in the Commonwealth of Independent States took place. On the proposal of the Russian Federation, it was decided to hold a regular meeting of the CIS Council of heads of government in Moscow on 25 October 2019.

Further, the issue of preparation of the draft Interstate program of innovative cooperation of the CIS States for the period up to 2030 was considered. In this regard, the Turkmen leader gave the floor to the Chairman of the CIS Interstate Council for cooperation in science, technology and innovation, Chairman of the State Committee on science and technology of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Shumilin.

As noted, the CIS is currently in the process of implementing a similar Interstate program for the period up to 2020, adopted by the decision of the Council of heads of government of the CIS on 18 October 2011. During its implementation, the interaction between the CIS countries has been arranged, the national agencies responsible for innovative development have been formed, the corresponding regulatory and methodological framework was created, including 31 documents, 6 of which were adopted in 2018. 10 interstate innovative projects are being realized, which already give concrete results for the economies of the Commonwealth States.

In order to further deepen cooperation in this direction, the interstate Council came with an initiative to develop a draft Interstate program for the period up to 2030. Its main task is the development of the interstate innovation space that combines the capabilities of the national innovation systems of the CIS countries.

In view of the absence of questions on the report, the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov informed about the decision of the Council to prepare a draft Interstate program of innovative cooperation of the CIS States for the period up to 2030.

Then the floor was given to the head of the Federal Customs Service of Russia Vladimir Bulavin, who spoke on the Agreement on cooperation of the customs authorities of the Commonwealth in the field of protection of intellectual property rights.

According to the speaker, in order to improve the cooperation of these structures in the field of protection of intellectual property rights and combating counterfeiting, the Council of heads of customs services of the CIS member states developed a draft Agreement providing for the creation of legal grounds for the exchange of relevant information.

Along with this, Bulavin touched upon a number of other issues on amendments to previously adopted documents.

President Berdymuhamedov noted that in view of the absence of questions under this Agreement, the Council is invited to sign it.

Moving on to the next point on the agenda on the appointment of  the first Deputy head of the Antiterrorist center of the CIS, the President of Turkmenistan once again gave the floor to the Chairman of the Executive Committee – the CIS Executive Secretary, Sergey Lebedev. The candidacy of the representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan Colonel Zhanat Saypoldayev was proposed. According to the regulation on the Antiterrorist center, his candidacy was approved by the relevant structures of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Having voiced the Council’s Decision on the approval of Zhanat Saipoldayev for the post of the first Deputy head of the CIS Antiterrorist center, the head of the Turkmen state congratulated him on his appointment.

The remaining documents were signed without discussion.

Following the meeting, a solid package of documents aimed at further development of constructive cooperation in the Commonwealth, strengthening of mutually beneficial partnerships in various fields was signed.

At the end of the signing ceremony, the President of Turkmenistan thanked all the participants for the fruitful joint work and declared the meeting of the CIS Council of heads of government closed.

Documents signed

  • Agreement on interaction of customs authorities of the CIS member states in the field of protection of intellectual property rights;
  • Agreement on coordination of interstate relations in the field of fundamental research of the CIS member states;
  • Agreement on cooperation of the CIS member states in the field of museum affairs,
  • Protocols on amendments to previously adopted documents, which will expand the interaction of the CIS countries in the field of trade, customs clearance and control of goods, as well as their transit through the CIS countries.

Press conference

The outcomes of the Ashgabat forum were announced at a press conference.

Speaking to the media, Chairman of the Executive Committee – Executive Secretary of the Commonwealth of Independent States Sergey Lebedev stressed the effectiveness of the meeting of the CIS Council of heads of government. All the issues on its agenda have been agreed upon and well prepared, and relevant decisions have been taken today. At the same time, the high level of the Ashgabat meeting was noted, which was attended by representatives of 10 Commonwealth States.

As reported, at the meeting in a narrow format, detailed exchange of views took place, first of all, on topical issues of economic cooperation. In this regard, the Chairman of the CIS Executive Committee emphasized the importance and relevance of the initiative put forward earlier by the President of Turkmenistan on the preparation of a conceptual document on strategic economic cooperation within the framework of the Commonwealth. Its draft was submitted by the Turkmen side to the CIS Executive Committee and passed preliminary approval in CIS states.

This document, called the Declaration on strategic economic cooperation, is currently under final approval. Expressing hope that this Declaration will be signed at the autumn meeting of the CIS Council of heads of state, Sergey Lebedev noted that preparations are already underway for this summit, which will be held in October in Ashgabat. During the upcoming Summit, it is also planned to take a number of significant decisions that will further strengthen cooperation in the format of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

It was decided to prepare a draft Interstate program of innovative cooperation of the CIS member states for the period up to 2030. In this context, Sergey Lebedev emphasized that a number of many other documents were signed within the framework of the Commonwealth of Independent States under the chairmanship of Turkmenistan, are designed for a long period. This is another confirmation of the CIS’s focus on broad cooperation with a view to the long term, for decades to come.

In addition, it was decided to appoint representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan Zhanat Saypoldayevfor the first Deputy head of the Antiterrorist center of the CIS. On the proposal of the Russian side, and specifically the head of the delegation – Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev, the next meeting of the Council of heads of government of the Commonwealth will be held in Moscow on 25 October this year. It will also be chaired by Turkmenistan. As reported, the head of the government of the Republic of Uzbekistan also spoke at the meeting. As a co-chair of the CIS this year, next year Uzbekistan will assume the chairmanship of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

In conclusion, Sergey Lebedev personally and from the CIS Executive Committee expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the President of Turkmenistan for his help and support not only in holding this meeting, but also in the organization of cooperation in the format of the Commonwealth. As an associate member of the CIS, Turkmenistan is directly involved in integration cooperation, and, as confirmed by the Turkmen leader, will continue to be an active participant in the partnership within the Commonwealth, stressed the Chairman of the Executive Committee – the Executive Secretary of the CIS.

Other events

In honor of the heads of delegations of the CIS countries, the President of Turkmenistan gave an official dinner at which he addressed the participants of the meeting.

On the same day, the head of the Turkmen state Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov received the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan Abdullah Aripov.

President of Turkmenistan received Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan

President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov received the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan Abdullah Aripov, who arrived in Ashgabat to participate in the Council of heads of government of the Commonwealth of Independent states.

Turkmenistan has once again demonstrated a responsible approach to international cooperation, as evidenced by the current meeting of CIS heads of government in Ashgabat and the initiatives put forward in President Berdymukhamedov informative speech aimed at bringing the partnership within the CIS to wider geographical and economic horizons, Abdullah Aripov said.

Warmly welcoming the guest and thanking him for his kind words, the Turkmen leader, in turn, addressed his best wishes to the top leadership and fraternal people of the neighboring country, stressing Turkmenistan’s readiness to steadily expand the multifaceted interstate dialogue, built on the Foundation of centuries-old friendship, common history and culture, mutual trusting cooperation, gaining new quality content.

As the head of state noted, Turkmenistan always supports constructive dialogue with all countries of the world community both in bilateral and multilateral formats. At the same time, great importance is attached to the search and implementation of new approaches and forms of interaction on topical issues of regional and world politics within international organizations, including the CIS.

Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan successfully cooperate in both bilateral and multilateral formats, demonstrating the coincidence or similarity of positions on topical issues of the regional and global agenda, said president Berdymuhamedov.

Touching upon the topic of bilateral contacts, the President of Turkmenistan and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan, exchanging views on a wide range of issues related to the prospects for the further development of long-term Turkmen-Uzbek partnership, confirmed their interest in diversifying mutually beneficial cooperation, which has a huge, in-demand potential.

In this regard, the activities of the intergovernmental Turkmen-Uzbek Commission on trade, economic, scientific, technical and cultural cooperation in the implementation of agreements reached at various levels were positively evaluated.

As it was stressed, both countries attach great importance to strengthening cooperation in solving common problems of the region, among the most important of which are saving the Aral sea and rational use of water resources.

The sides noted the importance of joint large-scale infrastructure projects, and, above all, the construction of a new transit corridor, which will allow for a short way to reach the sea ports of Iran, Oman and India, creating an opportunity for further growth of trade, transit and investment.

At the same time, the importance of fruitful cooperation in the humanitarian field was noted, which is based on the historically established community of cultural and spiritual traditions that have united the peoples of the two countries for centuries.

At the end of the conversation, the head of state and his guest expressed confidence that the current meeting within the framework of the CIS Council of heads of government will serve as another important step towards further optimization of cooperation between Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as a significant contribution to strengthening the climate of trust and mutual understanding in the region.

Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary Of the Republic of Uzbekistan to Turkmenistan A. Kuchkarov also took part in the meeting.

President of Turkmenistan held talks with Prime Minister of the Russian Federation

President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov met with Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev, who arrived in Ashgabat to participate in the meeting of the Council of heads of government of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

During the bilateral meeting, once again welcoming the high Russian guest on the Turkmen land, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov noted that the agenda of the current meeting of the Council of heads of government of the Commonwealth of Independent States included many pressing issues related to the prospects of interstate cooperation.

At the same time, the current visit of the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation to Ashgabat will give a new impetus to the fruitful cooperation between Turkmenistan and the Russian Federation in the bilateral format, which is a strategic partnership and is developing dynamically.

For example, a regular meeting of the intergovernmental Turkmen-Russian Commission on economic cooperation was recently held in Ashgabat, during which almost all aspects of bilateral relations, including issues of regional and world politics, were considered.

The agreements have already yielded practical results. As President Berdymuhamedov noted, recently Turkmenistan received pipes from the Chelyabinsk pipe rolling plant. There are many similar examples of joint participation of Turkmen and Russian enterprises in the implementation of large-scale projects, the head of state said.

Stressing the fruitful nature of humanitarian cooperation, covering a wide range of areas – science, education, health and culture, sports and tourism, the leader of the nation also noted that Turkmenistan respects the Russian language, which is studied in secondary schools and higher educational institutions.

As for sports, among the biggest events in this area is the world Sambo Championship, which will be held in Ashgabat in 2020.

Focusing on the topic of cooperation in the Caspian sea, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov stressed the importance of the V Summit of the heads of the Caspian States held last year, an important outcome of which was the signing of the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian sea, which became a milestone in the history of relations between the coastal countries.

In this context, the Turkmen leader highly appreciated the constructive approach of the Russian Federation to the topical issues on the Caspian sea, which should always remain a zone of peace and good-neighbourliness.

In August this year, Turkmenistan will host the First Caspian economic forum. The relevance of this initiative of Turkmenistan, supported by all the Caspian countries, is evidenced by the huge number of those wishing to take part in it.

The Caspian region has a huge economic and transit-transport potential, which can be used for the benefit of the peoples of coastal countries and other nations of the world, the head of Turkmenistan stressed.

Taking this opportunity, President Berdymuhamedov addressed the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin wishes of all the best, and the people of Russia – happiness and prosperity.

Thanking for the kind words and warm welcome, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev stressed that today, economic cooperation between Turkmenistan and the Russian Federation is developing on an upward line.

The importance of humanitarian programs, including in the field of culture and education, was emphasized. This is what historically binds our two peoples and is a reliable basis for the development of bilateral cooperation, Medvedev said.

Further, touching upon the topic of international forums held in Turkmenistan, the high guest noted that the meeting of the Council of heads of government of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the agenda of which, indeed, includes many important issues, will be a good platform to “synchronize watches” to assess the development of economic processes and some humanitarian projects in the CIS format.

The upcoming Caspian economic forum, which will be attended by representatives of Russia, is also of great interregional importance. Speaking about it, Dmitry Medvedev expressed confidence that this forum will be held at the highest level and its result will be new interesting projects.

In conclusion, the Russian Prime Minister once again thanked President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov for the hospitality and warm welcome extended to the Russian delegation.

At the end of the meeting, held in a confidential and friendly atmosphere, the President of Turkmenistan and the Prime Minister of Russia expressed their firm conviction that it will give a new impetus to the development of Turkmen-Russian relations.

Wishing the head of the Government of the Russian Federation good health, great success in his responsible state activities and all the best, the head of state presented him with a puppy of Alabai dog. As President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted, Alabai have long been faithful companions of the Turkmen people. Along with the Akhal-Teke horses, Alabai, which influenced the formation of many breeds of dogs in Central Asia, are an integral part of the cultural heritage of the Turkmen people. /// nCa, 3 June 2019