Only vessels of Caspian states to navigate in Caspian Sea

Only vessels of Caspian states to navigate in Caspian Sea

Russian foreign minister says Caspian states agree to ban military presence of non-regional states in sea

News Service AA

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Tuesday the five Caspian states reached an agreement on military use in the Caspian Sea.

"Firmly and unambiguously, the principle of the convention about the legal status of the Caspian Sea was confirmed, excluding the presence of armed forces of non-Caspian and non-coastal states,” Lavrov said at a news conference in Turkmenistan's capital Ashgabat after meeting the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

“It was decided that navigation is carried out only by vessels under the flag of one of the Caspian countries and the same principle applies to the entry and exit of any vessel from the Caspian Sea,” he said.

Asked about new Western arms deliveries to Ukraine, Lavrov said it happened simultaneously with statements about the unacceptability of achieving peace on Russia's terms, as well as the impossibility of starting peace negotiations until Ukraine achieves "a decisive turning point in the fighting.”

The minister called it "counterproductive and harmful” and said the more Ukraine is pumped with weapons, the longer the conflict will last.

"Yesterday, all the media in the West exploded with videos from Kremenchuk where they showed footage of a burning shopping center with accusations of the Russian military that they are bombing civilian infrastructure.

"The Russian Defense Ministry plainly and clearly explained what actually happened -- the hangar was bombed, where American and European weapons and ammunition were stored. As a result of the detonation of ammunition, an empty shopping center located nearby caught fire," he said.

Regarding the NATO summit in Madrid, Lavrov said: "If to listen to the statements of Western politicians, our country has been declared an enemy simply because it does not want to agree with the neoliberal world order, which the US, having subjugated the entire Western world without exception, imposes on everyone else under the slogan of a ‘rules-based’ world order.”

“The announced increase of the military forces on Russian borders was planned long ago as well and goes in the line with NATO's policy of military development of former Soviet territories, the approach of the military infrastructure of the alliance close to the Russian borders,” he said.

"Such a course has been conducted for a long time. In recent years, since the beginning of the 2000s, we have been trying to stop it and agree on generally acceptable methods of ensuring European security,” he said. “All in vain.”

“This does not surprise us. If our words and arguments are completely, arrogantly ignored -- this is already an established fact -- we will draw conclusions about how to continue doing business with our Western neighbors on this planet," he said.

Asked about the possibility of Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy getting NATO's direct military support, Lavrov said: "I will not guess what President Zelenskyy hopes and thinks. It doesn't matter because he doesn't make the decisions. They are accepted in Washington and by no means at the presidential level, but by well-known officials in the State Department and probably even in the presidential administration."

Lavrov also said Russia is not interested whether Zelenskyy will take part in the G20 summit in Indonesia.

"In the coming days, the President of Indonesia Joko Widodo will visit the Russian Federation. Preparations for the G20 will be one of the key topics of his talks with (Russian) President Vladimir Putin," he said.

About the results of the summit of BRICS leaders -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- Lavrov said countries are ready to consider expansion by accepting Argentina and Iran as members but the decision will be made by consensus.


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