'Caspian Dialogue 2018' at MGIMO
The International Economic Forum 'Caspian Dialogue 2018' was held at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. The event was organized by the International Energy Policy and Diplomacy Institute (MIEP MGIMO) and the Board of 'Science and Innovation of the Caspian Sea with the support of the Russian Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, the Ministry of Economic Development, as well as the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation and Russian Academy of Sciences. The main session of the event was devoted to the development of Caspian cooperation based on the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea, which was signed in August 2018 in Kazakhstan's Aktau. The event was attended by representatives of international organizations, officials, scientists and businessmen from Russia and Caspian states.
The rector of MGIMO Anatoly Torkunov said that "the development of the Caspian region is of exceptional importance not only for our countries, five Caspian countries, but also for the entire world community, since the region plays a huge role in the economic system. The Caspian is rich in oil, gas, fish; the region has unique perspectives in terms of expanding international cooperation, developing transport logistics, and as we well know, excellent opportunities in tourism and resort industries."
Economic Advisor to the Azerbaijani Embassy in Russia Shoqi Mekhtizade Kamal oglu noted that Azerbaijan is one of the most active participants in all cooperation projects in the Caspian: "Our country always participates in various projects - political, economic and environmental. At one time, the Caspian Sea was one of the centers of global energy development. Baku oil, which accounted for almost 70-80% of world oil production, was produced in the Caspian. Today our country is the flagship of this whole process."
Minister Counsellor of the Embassy of Kazakhstan in the Russian Federation Nurzhan Kadzhiakbarov drew attention to the prospects for strengthening cooperation among the Caspian states: "We have already formed the contractual legal framework, which will be further developed, according to the interest of the five countries. Regular meetings are held in the Caspian, cultural exchanges take place here, media forums, youth gatherings. There is an agreement to develop business contacts, conduct Caspian economic forums. We agreed to hold the first one next year in Turkmenistan."
The Special Representative of the Russian president for humanitarian and economic cooperation with the Caspian countries, former head of Dagestan Ramazan Abdulatipov stressed that after the Convention was signed, much work remains to be done for the Caspian states. "A whole complex of socio-economic, cultural and humanitarian issues of the development of Russia's Caspian Sea and cooperation with the Caspian states is overlooked. This can adversely affect the implementation of the convention. We need working groups in individual areas. I have already invited our Iranian colleges to participate in such a group. Since the Convention requires making about 100 amendments to the existing legislation, perhaps we also need an international working group and national working group."
Head of the Russian-Azerbaijani parliamentary group, State Duma Deputy Dmitry Savelyev spoke about the significance of the forum: "We discuss the Caspian issues very often, we discuss everything related to economic, political, environmental issues of the Caspian Sea, as well as security issues. The Caspian issue is always on the agenda. Considering the finalization of all documents, much work remains to be done. Therefore, such forums should be held as often as possible."