The Commonwealth of Independent States today operates in the new political and economic realities, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said today, speaking at a meeting of the Council of the CIS Heads of Government in an expanded format.
“Our countries, united by geography, common historical experience, humanitarian ties, will have to find their rightful place in these changing conditions,” said the head of Turkmenistan. - At the same time, the CIS states should fully use the objective advantages that we have, primarily in terms of geo-economics, for full, effective and equal participation in global and continental processes.
This is what Turkmenistan’s initiatives are aimed at bringing the partnership within the Commonwealth framework to broader geographic and economic horizons. It is primarily about proposals in the field of transport, logistics and energy, with which the Turkmen side first spoke at the CIS Summit in Sochi in 2017, the Turkmen leader explained. The essence of these proposals was the more active participation of the CIS countries in implementing large-scale infrastructure projects in Eurasia, along East-West and North-South lines that go beyond the borders of the Commonwealth.
There are already good examples of the implementation of such projects in which the CIS countries participate, the President continued. The Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway, which is capable of transporting up to 10-12 million tons of cargo annually, creates an opportunity for all Commonwealth states to connect to the transport infrastructure in a southerly direction to the Persian Gulf and the Middle East. Turkmenistan, together with Uzbekistan, is building a new transit corridor that will make it possible to reach the seaports of Iran, Oman and India along a short route.
Together with Azerbaijan, we are actively working to effectively connect the regions of Central Asia, the Caspian and Black Seas, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said. In essence, an extensive, integrated transport network is formed, covering a vast continental space. In this configuration, the participation of the Commonwealth countries is natural and beneficial. It also fits into the logic of ensuring the legitimate interests of the CIS states that do not have direct access to the sea.
The President emphasized that in May 2018, the construction and modernization of the port of Turkmenbashi was completed on the Caspian coast of Turkmenistan. Today it is a powerful, multi-functional terminal, focused on transport links between Asia and Europe. The benefits of the full use of its capabilities for the CIS countries are obvious.
The head of Turkmenistan stressed that the Caspian Sea is called upon to become a strategic hub for combining business interests not only of the coastal countries themselves, but also of other states, including the CIS participants. This dictated the initiative of Ashgabat to convene the First Caspian Economic Forum in August of this year, at which a substantive discussion on the prospects for cooperation in the Caspian Sea will take place in this broad context.
Taking this opportunity, the head of Turkmenistan invited delegations from all CIS countries to take part in the work of the First Caspian Economic Forum.