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Caspian 'Five' Agree Principles of Military Balance in the Region: Statement

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The heads of five Caspian states agreed on Monday to keep a stable balance of forces in the region and ensure the development of their defense capability within the limits of "reasonable efficiency," a political statement following the summit said.

Updated 5:12 p.m. Moscow Time

ASTRAKHAN (Russia), September 29 (RIA Novosti) - The heads of five Caspian states agreed on Monday to keep a stable balance of forces in the region and ensure the development of their defense capability within the limits of "reasonable efficiency," a political statement following the summit said.

"The sides also agreed the principles of mutual trust and transparency in military activities in accordance with "common efforts to strengthen regional security and stability."

The Caspian states also reaffirmed their readiness to follow the agreement on prevention of military presence of non-regional states in the region, reached on September 26.

Leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Iran and Turkmenistan attended the Caspian Sea summit in Russia's southern city of Astrakhan on Monday. The summit is focused on cooperation between the countries and progress in implementation of the decisions taken at the previous summit in Baku in 2010.

Earlier on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the five countries had agreed on a joint statement to outline future agreements on cooperation in the region. The sides also decided to hold five-party emergency services exercises in 2016.

The Caspian Sea's large fish resources and oil and gas deposits have made it a subject of territorial negotiations among the five states.

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military balance, Caspian group, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan
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