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Maneuvers on Caspian and around it
Why Turkmenistan did not take part in exercises of the Russia Caspian flotilla? The exercises of the Russian flotilla completed on the Caspian sea caused different comments worldwide - from total critics to loud cheers (the matter is in political but not military aspect of the exercises).

In fact, such reaction is normal, therefore, negative attitude towards them of the foreign mass media reflects the position of West as much as the Russian media reflects the position of Russia. From the Caspian states, as it is known, Kazakhstan (several plants) and Azerbaijan (two caters) took part in the exercises. Iran addressed its observers.

Turkmenistan did not take part in the events. The statement by the Foreign ministry of Turkmenistan says: Turkmenistan, in accordance with its neutral status and obligations it undertook, may not took part in military exercises of armed forces of another state. It is a political and legal aspect. But there are other reason for which Ashkhabad did not take part in Russian trainings on the Caspian Sea - it is a moral and political aspect of the issue.

Turkmenistan has always came against any expansion of military forces and military preparations on the Caspian Sea. In 1992, when the newly independent littoral states have expressed willingness to see the Caspian sea as completely demilitarized zone and in 10 years, when the presidents of the littoral states have assured to each other during the Ashkhabad summit in having peaceful intentions. In fact the concept of the Turkmen foreign policy regarding the Caspian Sea, it philosophy is based on the principle of transformation of this unique Sea into a zone free of arms. The question is what we want to bring to the Caspian Sea. What kind of sea we want the Caspian became. A testing area for new navy arms, the like it was over almost 70 years. In a beachhead for demonstrations of flags? It is in the past.

For now the same problems exist as there for 70 years: its status, marine and fishing regime etc. For Turkmenistan and turkmens the Caspian Sea is historically a window to world - to Russia, to Iran, to Caucasus. Unique interrelations between littoral nations were formed on the Caspian sea. Their opportunities, way of thinking, interests and style were significant during the process of formation. "Caspian Sea is a Sea of Peace" wording was formed not by the modern politicians. It would be better to see the sea really peaceful without military exercises and other training military actions.

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By Serdar Durdiyev

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