Updated 4:28 p.m. Moscow Time
ASTRAKHAN, September 29 (RIA Novosti) – Countries bordering the Caspian Sea will hold joint emergency exercises in 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday.
“As a first step, we suggest organizing a full-fledged five-party emergency services exercises that will help in developing the procedures of notifying and coordinating rescue units,” Putin said during a meeting of Caspian Sea states.
Earlier in the day, the five littoral states agreed on a joint statement that stipulates basic principles of their cooperation in the region, which has become an area of interest for several countries after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
On September 26, the summit's participants agreed to prevent the military presence of nonregional countries in the Caspian region. They also made significant progress in terms of preparing a convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea, which may be signed next year.
The Caspian Sea's large fish resources and oil and gas deposits have made it a subject of territorial negotiations among the five states that include Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
The leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan met in Astrakhan, southern Russia, on Monday for the fourth Caspian summit focused on key issues concerning cooperation among countries bordering the Caspian Sea, as well as implementing decisions approved at the previous summit in Baku in 2010. Multilateral agreements are expected to be signed at the summit.