Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Alexei Overchuk and Rashid Meredov, Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, held the 12th meeting of the Russia-Turkmenistan Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation. The meeting was held on 7 December in Moscow and was attended by representatives of the relevant agencies, ministries and departments of Russia and Turkmenistan.
The co-chairs of the commission considered a wide range of issues, including cooperation between the business communities, regions and development institutions of the two countries. They identified promising areas for further cooperation and reviewed the activities of 2022. The parties concentrated on expanding partnerships in transport and logistics, industry, tax administration, agriculture, land cadastre, public finance management, infrastructure development, construction, healthcare, the fuel and energy sector, the cultural and humanitarian spheres and other promising areas.
During the meeting, the parties stressed the dynamic and consistent development of Russian-Turkmen cooperation on a mutually beneficial and equal basis, noting the potential to develop bilateral relations in every area.
Alexei Overchuk outlined the cooperation between Russia and Turkmenistan in developing the North-South international transport corridor as an important step on the way to deepening all-round cooperation. The eastern section of the transport corridor passing through Turkmenistan has seen a impressive growth in traffic volumes. If in 2021, 700 tonnes of cargo was transported via this corridor, in the first 11 months of 2022 almost 62,000 tonnes and 220 containers in connection with Iran, South Asia and the Persian Gulf countries were shipped. "We see significant opportunities to develop the eastern section of this corridor through Turkmenistan to Iran and India," said Alexei Overchuk. We are ready to use the Russian seaports on the Caspian Sea and Turkmenbashi in a wide range of issues." He noted that the creation of a union of special economic zones in the Caspian states as part of developing the agreements reached at the 6th Caspian Summit of heads of states and the 2nd Caspian Economic Forum deserved special attention.
The Russian side reiterated its readiness to develop cooperation in all industries.
The sides also considered prospects for cooperation in tax administration and land cadastre. The Russian Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography and the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection of Turkmenistan signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in land cadastre and land management. The Russian side will contribute to introducing advanced technology in tax administration and in training Turkmen specialists in tax administration.
The officials confirmed the further development of cooperation in healthcare and epidemiological well-being. Cooperation in the field of medical education remains promising. Turkmenistan's medical specialists are receiving internships in transplantology, surgery and cardiology at medical institutions under the Russian Ministry of Health.
In the cultural and humanitarian sphere, the sides emphasised the initiative to work on a draft intergovernmental agreement on opening a joint Russian-Turkmen University in Ashgabat as a centre of Russian humanities and science education, and science and culture in Turkmenistan. The parties considered the construction of a new building for the State Russian Drama Theatre in Ashgabat. They noted that the project would be a symbol of friendship between the two countries.
On the sidelines of the meeting, which took place on 6-7 December, representatives of Russian government agencies met with their Turkmen counterparts and partners to coordinate current issues and jointly identify further potential cooperation.
At the end of the meeting, the parties signed a final protocol for the 12th meeting of the Russia-Turkmenistan Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation and a number of bilateral interagency documents.