By Nigar Abbasova
Majority of Turkish carriers will continue to transport freights through Azerbaijan to the Central Asian region regardless mending ties between Russia and Turkey, Trend quoted Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia’s National Secretary in Azerbaijan Akif Mustafayev as saying.
Mustafayev underlined that within a short period of time the carriers that transported their goods to Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan through the territory of Azerbaijan have received evidence that the route is totally safe and reliable.
“In my opinion, majority of Turkish carriers will not refuse using of the route which runs through Azerbaijan. The reforms that have been adopted by the government of Azerbaijan including facilitation of a number of customs procedures as well as tariff reduction have yielded certain results. The reforms convinced the fact that the route is safe and economically advantageous. Of course, certain portion of goods will be transported from Russia as the transportation of the whole volume is impossible due to the fact that there is also influx of goods coming from Europe and Ukraine and potentially from Iran to Central Asia,” he said.
Crisis in relations between the two countries resulted in Russia’s economic sanctions, which are considered to be an effective tool of foreign policy making, against Turkey. The sanctions have entered into effect on January 1, 2016. After deterioration of relations Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an order ensuring of national security and special economic sanctions against Turkey, which included a ban on the entry of freight vehicles from Turkey to the territory of Russia.
Mustafayev underlined that the normalization of relation between Russia and Turkey will positively affect Azerbaijan. “Good relations between the neighboring countries of Azerbaijan is crucial from the economic and political point of view. Trade turnover in the region has recently decreased by 30-40 percent. Trade and economic relations will trigger restoration and further improvement of the rate,” he said.
Previously, Azerbaijan's Deputy Economy Minister Sahil Babayev said that over 1,500 trucks were sent to Central Asia from Turkey through Azerbaijan in January-February 2016. The figure was 7.3 times more than in the same period of 2015.
Diplomatic relations between Russia and Turkey soured after a Russian SU-24 trespassed Turkish airspace and was shot down by Turkish F-16 fighters on November 24, 2015. The incident negatively affected friendly ties between the nations both politically and economically.
Recently, President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent a letter of condolences to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin June 27 over the death of Russian Su-24 pilot and expressed regret over the incident. The two countries are expected to bring the relations to their previous level soon.
Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova
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