MAKHACHKALA, July 28. /TASS/. Russia’s emergencies ministry has started preparations for an international exercise to drill operations to cope with the aftermath of emergency situations in the Caspian Sea, Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov said on Tuesday. The exercise will be held in 2016.
The minister said at a meeting of the emergencies commission held in the North Caucasian republic Dagestan’s capital Makhachkala that is located on the Caspian Sea that last autumn, the five Caspian littoral states — Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Iran and Turkmenistan, signed on the sidelines of their summit in the presence of the heads of states an agreement on cooperation in the prevention and elimination of consequences of emergency situations in the Caspian Sea. "On the proposal of Russian President Vladimir Putin, an international exercise, involving all the forces of the Caspian states, will be conducted. Preparations for it have been launched. I’m sure that we will organize it at a high level," Puchkov said.
Putin said then that "another important aspect of our work is the prevention and liquidation of emergency situations in the Caspian Sea. I propose to organize in 2016 full-scale five-sided drills of emergency response services which will allow practicing the procedures of notification and coordination of rescue teams." On September 26, 2014 the Caspian summit's participants agreed to prevent the military presence of non-regional countries in the Caspian region. They also made significant progress in terms of preparing a convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea.
The Caspian Sea’s large fish resources and oil and gas deposits have made it a subject of territorial negotiations among the five states that include Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
According to Puchkov, the international exercise would ensure close interaction and cooperation between all rescue services and agencies operating in the Caspian Sea. "The exercise will boost the [Caspian states’] close economic and cultural ties, which is very important for us," the minister said.