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Caspian States Agree To Prevent Outside (Read: U.S.) Military Presence

An Azerbaijan coast guard vessel patrolling the Baku harbor, 2012. (photo: The Bug Pit)

The presidents of the five countries on the Caspian Sea are meeting in Astrakhan, Russia, on Sunday and will agree to "prevent" the military presence of non-littoral countries on the sea, a Russian official has said.

Russia and Iran, the two largest powers on the sea, have long been trying to exclude external powers -- read, the United States -- from establishing a military presence on the sea. The negotiations on this have gone on very much behind the scenes, but the newly independent Caspian countries -- Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan -- have relied to varying degrees on the U.S. to get their new navies up and running. And Azerbaijan, in particular, seemed to be resisting this push to exclude external forces. 

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Caspian States Agree To Prevent Outside (Read: U.S.) Military Presence

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