Russian President to discuss results of Ashkhabad summit in Astrakhan

Upon the end of the Ashkhabad summit of the five Caspian countries, Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit the Astrakhan region /southern Russia, the lower reaches of the Volga river where it flows into the Caspian Sea/. There he will hold a conference on the Caspian region problems, reported Alexei Gromov, press secretary of the Russian president. In his words, the president will visit "a number of industrial and social facilities and the brigade of the Caspian flotilla ships." According to the Kremlin sources, the conference in Astrakhan will highlight the results of the Ashkhabad summit. The source added that the president had initiated such a conference himself. Vladimir Putin will arrive in Astrakhan on Wednesday evening directly from Ashkhabad where he participated in the summit of the Caspian five - Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Iran. At this first summit of the kind, the five presidents discussed issues related to the Caspian's legal status. Vladimir Putin stressed that decisions should be based only on the agreement between all the five littoral states. The president confirmed Russia's position on the future legal status of the Caspian. "The bottom will be divided, the water will remain for common use," said the head of state.

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