Russia proposes Astrakhan as venue for Caspian conference

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Russia has proposed holding an economic conference of Caspian Sea states at the level of deputy prime ministers next year in Astrakhan on the Volga delta, the foreign minister said on Wednesday.
MOSCOW, October 17 (RIA Novosti) - Russia has proposed holding an economic conference of Caspian Sea states at the level of deputy prime ministers next year in Astrakhan on the Volga delta, the foreign minister said on Wednesday.

Sergei Lavrov said Russia made the proposal during the second summit of Caspian Sea littoral states, held in Iran's capital on Tuesday.

"Next year, an economic conference at the level of vice-premiers will be held in Astrakhan - a region that interacts well with all the Caspian Sea states," Lavrov said at the presentation of the Astrakhan Region in Moscow.

At the summit in Tehran, the five littoral states - Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan - acknowledged that "Caspian resources, and the sea's sturgeon population, require the adoption of joint emergency action to prevent negative environmental consequences."

The summit participants also said a future convention on the legal status of the sea should respect the sovereign rights of Caspian states, and include environmental regulations, navigation norms and economic rules.

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