Caspian countries not to support Russia’s initiative to create operating security forces

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 11 / Trend , E.Rustamov /

Littoral Caspian Sea countries will unlikely support Russia's willingness to create KASFOR security forces in the Caspian Sea 

"Iran, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan will not support Russia's proposal to create the KASFOR operating security forces," Azerbaijani political analyst Zardusht Alizade said.

Russia wants to establish the KASFOR security forces in the Caspian Sea, the Russian ARMS-TASS agency reported. The representative of the Russian Federation Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Moscow considers it possible to create this system without participation of naval forces in the region and has been working in this direction.

The idea of creation the KASFOR security forces in the Caspian Sea was launched by Russia during the meeting of the littoral Caspian countries Navy commanders in Astrakhan in 2004. Then the idea was only supported by Iran.

According to political analysts, the creation of the operational security forces would not be supported by a majority of the Caspian countries.

Azerbaijani political analyst Rasim Musabayov believes that there is no a country to support Russia's initiative. "For example, Kazakhstan might support Russia's initiative. However, Kazakhstan never heard to voice his willingness," Musabayov told Trend .

Russia already has a fleet on the Caspian Sea, and if it wants to change the name and call it KASFOR, it will change nothing, he said. "The fact that Russia stresses that it will create the system without the participation of other countries, then it is Russia's own business. If this system will be like a mission of international forces, Russia will fail to achieve its goal without participation of other countries," said Musabayov.

Creation of the Navy may be beneficial to Russia, but not in the interests of other Caspian countries, Iranian expert Hasan Behishtipoura said

"Creation of the system does not meet the interests of Iran, because Iran's position is that cooperation in all spheres between the Caspian countries, including the military, too," Behishtipoura said to Trend by phone.

The safety in the Caspian Sea must be provided on the basis of interaction of all five countries, he added.

Iran can support a project of operative security forces if there is mutual cooperation there, expert said. "Iran opposes participation of non Caspian countries to ensure security in the Caspian Sea," Beheshtipour said.

Azerbaijan will not oppose Russia's initiative. Russia prefers not to interfere the process, politicians said.

Azerbaijan can consider the issue, Khazar Ibrahim, press secretary of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, told Trend .

"If we receive any official appeal regarding this fact, we can consider it and then determine the position," Ibrahim said.

Russia is willing to strengthen its positions in the region. Azerbaijan will not oppose and interfere, Alizade said.

"I think it is a meaningless initiative as there are five countries in the Caspian Sea and nobody threatens anyone," he said.

Azerbaijan's position will depend on a mission whether it will meet Azerbaijani interests or not, Musabekov said. 

Now, Russia should suspend strengthening of the fleet and pay attention at Azerbaijan's and Kazakhstan's proposal suggested in 2004, Russian expert said.

In 2004 Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan participating in the Caspian Sea Security Program suggested establishing of an organization. The organization will fight against drug traffic, arms trade, smuggling in the Caspian basin. It will fulfill search and rescue functions.

Russia should suspend strengthening of navy in the Caspian sea, as well as creation of force and modernization, Russian Military Expert Anatoliy Tsyganok said.

It does not worth implementing all programs scheduled earlier in terms of current crisis, he said.

It is more advisable for Russia to support Azerbaijan's and Kazakhstan's proposal because Russia's principal threat is drug traffic," Tsyganok head of Military Prognostication Center told Trend .

The proposals voiced five-six years ago can be reconsidered for benefit of Azerbaijan's and Kazakhstan's initiative, he said.

"I think that Azerbaijan's and Kazakhstan's proposal is positive. It can be and must be noticed," Tsyganok said.

R.Agayev (Moscow) and T.Jafarov contributed in the article.

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