By Rasana Gasimova
Azerbaijan and Belarus – two former Soviet republics – have inked a bilateral defence cooperation plan for 2020.
The plan for cooperation has been signed by defense ministers of Azerbaijan and Belarus, Colonel General Zakir Hasanov and Lieutenant General Andrei Ravkov on the lead-up to the next meeting of the CIS Ministers of Defense Council to be held in Baku on October 30.
"Hasanov and Ravkov signed a plan of bilateral cooperation for 2020 between Azerbaijan and Belarus, which provides for the organization of mutual visits of expert groups, the holding of joint combat training events, as well as exchange of best practices and other important issues," the press service of the Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry has said.
During the meeting, the Azerbaijani minister noted that Baku attaches particular importance to cooperation with Minsk in all areas, and particularly in the military sphere. He stressed that the parties have ample opportunities for the further development of military-technical cooperation.
Hasanov noted that Azerbaijan pays special attention to cooperation with defense industry companies of Belarus. He emphasized the successful development and expansion of military-technical cooperation.
Hasanov expressed gratitude to the leadership and people of Belarus for supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and their position on the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Hasanov also noted that the activities of the new military attaché of Belarus to Azerbaijan, Andrei Kaptilovich, will be aimed at developing friendly relations between Baku and Minsk, based on mutually beneficial cooperation.
The parties exchanged views on the current state and prospects for the military cooperation development between Azerbaijan and Belarus, noting the contribution of the two states to regional security.
Today, a legal and organizational framework exists that allows the implementation of joint projects between the two countries. The Agreement on Investment Promotion and Mutual Protection between the Governments of Belarus and Azerbaijan came into force in 2011, which accelerated the bilateral economic cooperation.
Last year, the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Belarus was about $204 million, which is approximately $56 million more than the figure of 2017. The volume of trade between Azerbaijan and Belarus reached $60 million in January-February this year. Imports from Belarus to Azerbaijan amounted to $55.9 million, while the volume of exports from Azerbaijan to Belarus was $3.3 million.
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