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President Putin highly praised the past summit of the Caspian countries' leaders

April 24, 2002, Ashgabat

The leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran regarded their first summit a success although no final declaration was signed. The Presidents of the Caspian Group of Five decided to continue their negotiations and meetings to determine the legal status of the Caspian Sea. The concluding conference was attended by only the Presidents and Foreign Ministers of the five Caspian states.

Vladimir Putin praised the informal conversation that concluded the summit as extremely open and highly constructive. For the first time since the Caspian problem arose, the countries’ leaders discussed all aspects of their interaction in detail, the Russian President said. He also said that an agreement had been reached to continue consultations on all issues – fisheries, ecology, the use of the water basin and energy resources, and the final definition of the status of the Caspian Sea.

The summit participants qualified the hindrances that prevented them from signing the final declaration as technical drawbacks in drafting the documents rather than the principal political differences on key issues.

April 24, 2002, Ashgabat