Putin Proposes Caspian-Black Sea Link

A0090568121.jpgRussian President Vladimir Putin proposed that littoral states widen North-South transit corridor through digging a canal between the Caspian and the Black seas. Putin made the remarks during the second summit of the heads of Caspian Sea littoral states here in Tehran Tuesday morning, adding that once his offer is put into practice, the transit potentials of the littoral states would be activated.

He further noted mutual cooperation among the Caspian Sea littoral states, and said his country has always been in the quest for the implementation of the understandings and agreements reached by the littoral states, hoping that the draft statement of the summit would reinvigorate the agreements gained during the continued meetings of the Caspian states’ foreign ministers.

“Good neighborly relations sets a priority for Russia’s foreign policy,” Putin said, underlining that Moscow “has always sought to establish unity among littoral states”.

He further called for the littoral states’ cooperation in the management and shared use of the Caspian Sea resources, describing the Sea as a good advantage for the littoral states.

The Russian president said the northern states are facing certain restrictions in using the sea’s resources, “and I think that the states on the southern part of the sea should have an acceptable solution in this regard.”

He said that the littoral states should not wait for a convention on the legal regime of the Caspian Sea for using resources.

“To use these resources in a proper way, we do not need to wait for a convention on the legal regime,” he said.

Putin underlined that the littoral states should not resort to force or even think of using force for resolving their issues.

“Issues of the this sea should be resolved through talks and through giving importance to the littoral states’ interests and territorial integrity,” he said, adding, “Resolving issues through talks and maintaining territorial integrity of the Sea mans that littoral states should not allow other countries to use their territory for military operations.”

The Russian president also said that issues of the Caspian Sea could be resolved through mutual trust among the littoral states, and viewed the draft statement of the second Caspian Sea summit as a document creating stability and building confidence among the five countries.

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