Valentina Matvienko and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov sign agreement to set up Russia-Turkmenistan Interparliamentary Commission on Cooperation

The document marks a new stage in the development of cooperation between the two parliaments, the Federation Council Speaker said.

Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matvienko held a meeting with Chairman of Halk Maslahaty (People’s Council) of Milli Genesh (parliament) of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.

“Russia-Turkmenistan strategic partnership has been noted for a superior stability of political dialogue based on the principles of mutual respect and a balance of each other’s interests,” Valentina Matvienko pointed out.

She expressed appreciation for the attention Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov was giving to strengthening friendly ties between Moscow and Ashgabat and to expanding mutually beneficial cooperation in all spheres.

The Federation Council Speaker spoke about the importance of good traditions and personal contacts for promoting strategic partnership between Russia and Turkmenistan.

Valentina Matvienko mentioned trust-based relations between the presidents of Russia and Turkmenistan, who have met five times this year on a bilateral basis and during multilateral events. “This intensive dialogue at the top level is giving positive momentum to the entire range of Russia-Turkmenistan cooperation,” she said.

The Federation Council Speaker noted the acclaim given by delegation heads to the first Interparliamentary Forum of Central Asia and the Russian Federation and the Dialogue of Women from Central Asia and Russia held in the 5+1 Ashgabat format in May 2022.

“The Inter-Pparliamentary Forum of Central Asia and Russia is very likely to become a regular event. We regard the idea of creating youth mechanisms of interparliamentary cooperation in the Central Asia-Russia format as timely and useful. It will help us develop stable ties between our young people and also create conditions for sharing our broad experience in the spheres of law-making and international dialogue with the younger generation,” Valentina Matvienko pointed out.

She put forth the initiative of inviting young MPs to the next meeting of the Interparliamentary Forum of Central Asia and Russia and discussing the format of their involvement.

The Federation Council Speaker noted the special attention paid by Russian lawmakers to the development of interparliamentary dialogue with Turkmenistan, adding that interregional cooperation was an integral part of this dialogue. “Apart from the Astrakhan Region, the Republic of Tatarstan and St Petersburg have cooperated with Turkmenistan very successfully, and the Chelyabinsk Region is working to join in. Overall, 60 Russian regions maintain ties with Turkmenistan to one degree or another,” Valentina Matvienko noted. She expressed hope that Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov would tour one of them during his next visit to Russia.

The Speaker spoke highly about Russia-Turkmenistan interaction at international platforms, namely the CIS, the Central Asia-Russia Dialogue and the Caspian Five.

She pointed out that Moscow and Ashgabat invariably supported initiatives aimed at promoting effective multilateral cooperation based on mutual respect and equality, including at the UN.

“We set a high value on cooperation within the framework of the CIS. Despite the complicated global situation, the Commonwealth states have maintained a high pace of cooperation in all spheres. We are grateful to Ashgabat for its constructive contribution to these efforts,” Valentina Matvienko said.

“We respect your country’s policy of positive neutrality. However, we believe that Turkmenistan could join the Convention on the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly (IPA CIS) so as to be able to work in the organisation as a full member,” the Federation Council Speaker noted.

Valentina Matvienko invited Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to attend IPA CIS events, the next of which is scheduled to take place in St Petersburg next spring.

The Federation Council Speaker noted that education was a priority aspect of bilateral cooperation. “There is a consistently high level of interest among Turkmen students in receiving education in Russia. We are ready to continue working with Turkmenistan in this sphere.”

Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov spoke about the stable development of relations between Russia and Turkmenistan. Interparliamentary partnership and contacts between lawmakers are acquiring a systemwide character, which is promoting the coordination of common positions on a broad range of issues.

The Chairman of the People’s Council of Turkmenistan pointed out that interparliamentary diplomacy is designed to become an instrument of peace and cooperation. He also spoke about a more effective use of the mechanisms of youth interaction and the involvement of women in strengthening the values of public and state administration.

Valentina Matvienko and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov signed an agreement on the establishment of an interparliamentary cooperation commission between the Federation Council of Russia and the People’s Council of the Parliament of Turkmenistan.

The Federation Council Speaker expressed confidence that the document would mark a new stage in the two countries’ interparliamentary cooperation by institutionalising it and opening up new cooperation opportunities for lawmakers.

Valentina Matvienko issued instructions to form the national chapters of the commission and coordinate the timeframe for its first meeting, during which the commission’s rules of procedure will be approved and an annual work plan coordinated. She also proposed holding the first meeting in Moscow and Astrakhan.

Speaking at a news conference following the meeting, Valentina Matvienko pointed out that the meeting was traditionally held in a friendly yet business-like atmosphere. She noted that such talks helped promote the policy of strengthening bilateral cooperation and interaction in Central Asia and on the global stage. “Today’s meeting was evidence of the high level of relations between our countries,” she said.

According to Valentina Matvienko, they discussed nearly all issues on the bilateral agenda but focused on the role of parliaments in implementing the Declaration on Deepening Strategic Partnership between Russia and Turkmenistan, which the presidents of the two countries signed last summer.

The Federation Council Speaker said that more attention should be given to the strengthening of economic ties, above all in energy. “We agree that bilateral cooperation in this sphere and the coordination of our efforts on the global energy markets are essential for our countries. Lawmakers will do their utmost to strengthen our countries’ cooperation in this sphere.”

In addition, Valentina Matvienko emphasised the importance of redoubling efforts to boost scientific and technological cooperation, diversify our economies and build up sectors and enterprises that produce science-intensive value-added goods.

Valentina Matvienko mentioned Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov’s commitment to the Russian language and culture and his initiative to establish a Russia-Turkmenistan University in Ashgabat.

“We have coordinated the practical steps to boost our cooperation in international formats, namely at the CIS, the Central Asia-Russia Dialogue and the Caspian Five,” the Federation Council Speaker said. She praised the idea of creating youth mechanisms of interparliamentary cooperation in the Central Asia-Russia format as timely and useful.

Valentina Matvienko thanked him for his attention to the Dialogue of Women from Central Asia and Russia. She expressed hope that “this new format will become an integral part of the Eurasian Women’s Forum held under the umbrella of the Federation Council.”

Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov described the meeting as essential and fruitful. “The Russian Federation has always supported Turkmenistan’s initiatives on the international stage,” he said.

He added that the sides also discussed the importance of involving young people in interparliamentary diplomacy and the role of women in legislative processes.

Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov signed the Book of Honorary Guests of the Federation Council.

Valentina Matvienko and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov visited a photo exhibition about Russia-Turkmenistan interparliamentary cooperation.

The meeting was attended by Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council Konstantin Kosachev, Chair of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs Grigory Karasin, Chair of the Federation Council Committee on Science, Education and Culture Lilia Gumerova, Chair of the Federation Council Committee on House Rules and Parliamentary Governance Vyacheslav Timchenko, First Deputy Chair of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs Vladimir Dzhabarov, and member of the Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building Alexander Bashkin.