Photo Credit: Kremlin.ru
Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday held a closed meeting on the sidelines of the Caspian Summit in the Kazakh city of Aktau, TASS reported. Ahead of the meeting, both presidents noted the cooperation between their two countries, from economic to security issues. They also discussed Iran’s cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Union.

The Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) is a political and economic union, established in 2014, of states located in central and northern Eurasia. The EEU includes Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan.

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A Kremlin Spokesman said Putin and Rouhani discussed Washington’s actions on the global scene, the situation in Syria, and bilateral agreements on the sidelines of the Caspian Summit. “There was a wide variety of issues on the agenda,” the spokesman said.

In May, President Donald Trump declared the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, on August 7 re-imposed sanctions on Iran. The remaining parties to the nuclear deal: Russia, China, France, Germany and the UK – have not followed Trump’s lead, but at least a dozen major international corporations have already pulled out of contracts with the Islamic Republic.

At the same fifth Caspian summit, Presidents Putin and Rouhani joined Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Azerbaijan Ilkham Aliyev, and President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, inked a document determining the legal status of the Caspian Sea. Work on the document had continued since 1996, while its draft was agreed by the five nations’ foreign ministers in December 2017 in Moscow.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the very fact of passing the convention is a major breakthrough, suggesting the “Caspian quintet” is getting a “reliable legal foundation giving a possibility to achieve a higher level of cooperation” in the region.

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