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Caspian States Hold Anti-Terrorism Talks

14 July 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin attended a Caspian anti-terrorism conference aboard a Russian naval vessel today.

Russia's Caspian Fleet Vice Admiral Yuri Startsev said the conference is focusing on ways that naval forces could contribute to the fight against terrorism, bioterrorism, and narcotics trafficking.

Startsev said all the Caspian littoral states -- Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Iran -- support the idea of the anti-terrorism conference.

Governments in the Caspian states and foreign companies involved in projects to export the energy resources of the Caspian Sea have voiced concerns that terrorists could disrupt the flow of oil and natural gas or intentionally pollute the Caspian.

The conference is being held on board the naval vessel "Tatarstan," the flagship of Russian Caspian Fleet.