President hails Moscow declaration's role in future ties with Russia [UPDATE]
By Ayya Lmahamad
President Ilham Aliyev has said that the Declaration of Allied Interaction signed between Azerbaijan and Russia will be of great importance for the future of bilateral relations.
He made the remarks during the one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 22.
“The declaration is quite broad. It has more than 40 paragraphs. It covers the most important areas of our interaction and, as I have already said, will be of great importance for the future of our bilateral relations,” he said.
The president noted that the signing of the Declaration is a good illustration of how hard the two countries have worked in recent years and increased the potential for mutual cooperation.
“In my opinion, this document will definitely be very positive for our countries, our relations, as well as regional security. We appreciate and are strengthening the friendly and good-neighborly relations between our countries,” he said.
“In general, the political relations between our countries have always been developing very positively in recent years. At present, these relations are reaching the highest level,” he said.
Speaking about trade and economic ties, the president noted that the trade between the two counties has increased by 16 percent and exceeds $3 billion. He added that there are prospects for further growth this year as well, as evidenced by the January figures.
The president also mentioned that there are about 340 Russian-language schools in Azerbaijan and more than 140,000 children are studying there, as well as more than 15,000 citizens in Azerbaijan studying in Russian-language departments at universities.
“In my opinion, this is a very important basis of our relations and future ties, because the Russian language has always united the countries of the former Soviet Union, and, of course, it will be very difficult to regulate the relations of future generations without speaking Russian,” he said.
Russia’s role in stopping Karabakh war
Speaking about the post-war regional situation, the president stressed that Russia has played a very important role in stopping the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia and moving the conflict from a hot phase to a political and diplomatic one.
“The trilateral statement signed with your active participation in November 2020 allowed us the opportunity to resolve this long-standing conflict,” he said.
Aliyev noted that a new situation has emerged now, and today’s geopolitical realities in the region have been accepted by the world community.
“Russia plays a very important, and, I would say, the key role in the normalization of relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia, the opening of transport communications, and the creation of opportunities for normal neighborly relations. We appreciate this role very much,” he said.
The president also expressed the hope that Armenia, like Azerbaijan, will fulfill all the provisions of the statement it signed in November 2020.
New stage in ties
In turn, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin underlined that the signing of the Declaration of Allied Interaction is a new stage in the development of bilateral relations.
Speaking about the settlement of the Karabakh conflict, he noted that there are already certain agreements in terms of ensuring the safety of all the people living there, the development of trade and economic relations, and the opening of transport communications.
“I know that there are still disputes and issues to be worked out. However, for our part, we will do our best to ensure that this process goes on peacefully, develops peacefully and, of course, to the satisfaction of all the parties involved in this process,” he said.
“By the way, both the Russian Federation and, as far as I know, your other neighbors are interested in resolving these issues, including transport communications, because not only Azerbaijan and Armenia are interested in it - Russia, I repeat, and all your other neighbors are interested as well,” he added.
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