President Putin recently approved a new Maritime Doctrine of the Russian Federation, where the Caspian Sea is traditionally designated as one of the zones of the maritime power’s national interests.
Unlike the previous doctrine of 2015, the new concept clearly demonstrates Moscow’s desire to consolidate cooperation with the Caspian neighbors.
“The Caspian region has significant mineral and biological resources in terms of volume and unique in quality, requiring an integrated approach to their development, taking into account the rights and obligations of the Russian Federation defined by the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea of 12 August 2018,” the doctrine says.
Among the Caspian-focused priorities of the marine policy, the first item is “strengthening the economic and geopolitical position of the Russian Federation in the Caspian region, deepening economic, military and cultural ties with the states of this region.”
The new doctrine also includes a clause providing for the development of international military cooperation with the naval forces of the Caspian countries.
In addition, the efforts will be directed on modernizing and increasing the capacity of Russian seaports, rail and road lines in order to further socio-economic development of the Caspian region by increasing the sea transportation of export and import cargo, diversifying routes, expanding the volume and methods of supplying goods and services to domestic and foreign markets by sea.
Russia will continue to develop cooperation with the Caspian countries in hydrometeorology, monitoring of the marine environment, tourism and organizing sea cruise routes.
It should be noted that the Caspian region borders several geopolitical zones of Russia’s long-term vital interests – the Caucasus, the Middle East, and Central Asia. The major transport and transit corridors traverse the Caspian sea along the North-South routes, providing Russia with access to the markets of South Asia.
“Russia has consistently advocated deepening the partnership of the Caspian countries in politics, security, economy and environmental protection, as well as on numerous aspects of the humanitarian agenda,” the Russian leader said at the Caspian Summit in Ashgabat in June 2022. ///nCa, 2 August 2022