On 17 August 2018 the President of Turkmenistan held a session of the Cabinet of Ministers where special emphasis was placed on the environmental protection of the Caspian Sea. Almost all deputy Prime Ministers, even those whose field of expertise is not related to the sea and marine issues, were instructed to work for the benefit of the Caspian Sea.
During the session of Turkmenistan's Cabinet of Ministers, the President of Turkmenistan addressed Deputy Prime Minister Esenmyrat Orazgeldiev, overseeing the agro-industrial sector, and said that for the time being one of the priorities for cooperation on the Caspian Sea is protection of the environment, which is closely related to climate change and preserving biological diversity.
The head of state charged the Deputy Prime Minister with the task of organizing a top level session of the Coordination Committee on Hydrometeorology of the Caspian Sea scheduled for autumn 2018.
The President stated that all works on the Caspian Sea should be carried out scientifically, relying on the systems of monitoring and forecasting, the state information agency TDH reported.
� We also need to be involved in designing a five-side Agreement on conducting scientific research on the Caspian Sea, � Berdymukhammedov said, and charged Purli Agamyradov, Deputy Prime Minister overseeing science, education, healthcare, sports, youth policy and social issues, with the task of designing the aforementioned agreement.
Minister of Finance Gochmyrat Myradov was authorized by the President to urgently launch preparations for the First Caspian Economic Forum, which is scheduled to be held in 2019.
Addressing the Secretary of the State Security Council, Minister of National Security Yalym Berdiev and other members of the Security Council, the President called for boosting the measures of ensuring safety on the Caspian Sea, including active engagement in designing a five-side agreement on search and rescue operations on the Caspian Sea.
In Kazakhstan several days before, on 12 August, the heads of the five Caspian states signed the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea. Pursuant to the document, the nations may lay gas pipelines along the bottom of the Sea only when all five countries ensure the environmental safety of the project.
On 17 August this information was confirmed by Ambassador-at-large of Russia's Foreign Ministry Igor Bratchikov who, responding to a question by media outlets on the possible construction of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline, said that the sides are allowed to lay pipelines provided that the construction projects comply with environmental requirements and standards set forth by international agreements.
When and if tangible plans to build the Trans-Caspian gas pipelines emerge, any of the Caspian states, if deemed necessary, will be able to get involved in the assessment procedure to evaluate their impact on the environment of the Caspian Sea, even at the design stage, � an official of Turkmenistan's Foreign Ministry concluded.
It should be emphasized that after signing of the Convention many media outlets rushed to announce that the consent of only two sides is sufficient for the construction of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline.
Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan