United Nations

A/51/73


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

1 March 1996

ORIGINAL:
RUSSIAN


                                                        A/51/73

General Assembly
Fifty-first session
Item 97 of the preliminary list*

     *   A/51/50.


        SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC COOPERATION

         Letter dated 21 February 1996 from the Permanent Representatives
         of the Russian Federation and Turkmenistan to the United Nations
                      addressed to the Secretary-General


     I have the honour to transmit to you the text of the joint
statement on the results of talks concerning the problems affecting
the Caspian Sea, signed by the Deputy Chairman of the Government of
the Russian Federation, Mr. A. A. Bolshakov, and the Deputy Chairman
of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan, Mr. B. O. Shikhmuradov.

     We should be grateful if you would have this letter and its annex
circulated as a document of the General Assembly under agenda
item 97 of the preliminary list.


     (Signed)  S. LAVROV                      (Signed)  A. ATAEVA             
      Permanent Representative of                Permanent Representative     
         the Russian Federation                       of Turkmenistan         
         to the United Nations                     to the United Nations      


                                     ANNEX

           Joint Statement by the Russian Federation and Turkmenistan on
           the results of talks concerning the problems affecting the
                                  Caspian Sea


     A meeting of a delegation of the Russian Federation headed by the
Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation, Mr. A.
A. Bolshakov, and a delegation of Turkmenistan headed by the President
of Turkmenistan, Mr. S. A. Niyazov, took place on 11 and
12 August 1995 in Turkmenbashi.  

     The President of Turkmenistan, Mr. Niyazov, welcomed the messages
from the President of the Russian Federation, Mr. B. N. Yeltsin, and
the Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation, Mr. V. C.
Chernomyrdin, which expressed the Russian Federation's strong desire
to develop in every possible way relations based on partnership with
Turkmenistan.  The messages also indicated the readiness of the
Russian Federation to do everything to assist the efforts by
Turkmenistan to ensure stability and peace in the region and stressed
that Turkmenistan's peacemaking initiatives and commitment to
neutrality were supported by the Russian Federation and corresponded
to the long-term tasks of its foreign policy.

     During the talks, the delegation heads of the Russian Federation
and Turkmenistan reached agreement on setting up joint companies to
carry out specific projects in the commercial and economic field and
in the construction of highways and main railway lines.  The Russian
side stressed that cooperation with Turkmenistan afforded the Russian
Federation unique opportunities for establishing the shortest
commercial routes to the countries of South and South-East Asia, the
Middle East and other regions.

     The sides agreed to set up joint structures for monitoring the
ecosystem of the Caspian Sea, preserving its bio-resources and
managing its fish resources.  In this regard, it was stressed that
Russian-Turkmen projects and initiatives were open to participation by
other countries.  

     Having comprehensively discussed the problems related to the legal
status of the Caspian Sea, the sides noted with satisfaction the
similarity of the positions and approaches for solving those problems
in accordance with the national interests of the two countries and
reached agreement on the following issues:

1.   The sides recognized the need for cooperation in questions
relating to the use and protection of the Caspian Sea, which requires
the elaboration and adoption of agreed decisions on the basis of
consensus on the part of all the States of the Caspian region. 
Recognizing that the Caspian Sea is a unique, integral ecological
complex, and realizing the responsibility of the States of the Caspian
region for protecting it as an important element of the world's
ecosystem, the sides consider that all activities in the Caspian Sea
must be developed on a basis that precludes any damage to its
environment.

2.   The sides agreed that approaches to resolving issues related to
the legal status of the Caspian Sea must be based on an all-round
consideration of the political, economic and social interests of the
States of the Caspian region.  In this regard, the sides believe that
all rights with regard to the Caspian Sea appertain to the States of
the Caspian region and that they alone may define rules governing
activities in the Caspian as well as conditions for involving physical
persons and legal entities of third countries.

3.   The sides consider that the mutual relations of the States of the
Caspian region must be developed in accordance with the principles of
respect for State sovereignty and good-neighbourliness, mutually
advantageous cooperation and equitable partnership.  The Caspian Sea
must be utilized exclusively for peaceful purposes.  

4.   The sides agree that, in order to resolve questions related to the
definition of the legal regime of the Caspian Sea, it is necessary to
elaborate a document (convention) on the legal status of the sea,
which should serve as the basis for drawing up international legal
norms for regulating:

     -   Navigation,

     -   Utilization of biological resources,

     -   Utilization of mineral resources,

     -   Protection and preservation of the ecosystem.

On this basis, the sides confirm that the questions relating to
activities in the Caspian Sea, including the use of its aquatic area,
minerals and natural resources, must be regulated by multilateral
agreements with the participation of all States of the Caspian region
as well as their legislation corresponding to those agreements.

5.   The sides consider that it is necessary to establish a mechanism
for regional cooperation in the Caspian in order to resolve all
questions that relate to the use of the Caspian Sea and are of common
interest.


        For the Government of the                   For the Government        
        of the Russian Federation:                  of Turkmenistan:          

   (Signed)  A. A. BOLSHAKOV              (Signed)  B. O. SHIKHMURADOV        


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