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Envoy: Russian MP's anti-Azerbaijan remarks detrimental to bilateral ties [PHOTO]

30 March 2022 16:45 (UTC+04:00)
Envoy: Russian MP's anti-Azerbaijan remarks detrimental to bilateral ties [PHOTO]

By Sabina Mammadli

Russian ambassador to Azerbaijan Mikhail Bocharnikov has said that Russian State Duma MP Mikhail Delyagin's earlier anti-Azerbaijan statement is detrimental to relations between the two countries.

He made the remarks at a press conference in Baku on March 30.

"I consider such statements detrimental to relations between Russia and Azerbaijan," he said.

The ambassador called the MP's remarks unacceptable, adding that they do not reflect Moscow's official position and have already been condemned by the Kremlin and the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Delyagin earlier described Azerbaijan as a “proxy state” and suggested launching a tactical nuclear strike on Baku and destroying Azerbaijan’s oil industry on Russia’s “60 minutes” political talk show broadcast on Russia 1 TV channel on March 28.

He stressed that Azerbaijan “needs to be punished for its attempt to open a second front”. Delyagin accused the country of violating the truce in Karabakh and not observing the trilateral statement signed by Baku, Yerevan and Moscow in 2020. Moreover, the MP called Azerbaijan a “real danger to Russia”.

The frenzy was quickly followed by a rebuttal from Russia's Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov, who urged Delyagin to control his personal emotions and refrain from making hostile statements toward Azerbaijan.

"This statement is the result of a personal emotional outburst. We would urge you to control your emotions and refrain from making such statements, especially against our partners. Azerbaijan is one of our partner countries," Peskov said.

Later, Delyagin apologized for his remarks.

Bilateral cooperation

During the same conference, Bocharnikov stated that the Azerbaijan-Russia Declaration on Allied Cooperation, dated February 22, 2022, is bringing the parties' relations to a new level of development.

According to him, this document has become a key aspect of the meeting of the two countries' presidents.

"The provisions of this declaration lay the foundation for our cooperation in accordance with international law," he noted.

In response to payment difficulties caused by a change in the ruble exchange rate, Bocharnikov stated Russia's intention to expand banking cooperation with Azerbaijan in national currencies.

He stated that the shift to payments in national currencies will aid in resolving this issue.

According to him, expanding banking cooperation in national currencies in accordance with the declaration will also help to solve the aforementioned problem. He went on to say that positive steps had already been taken in this direction.

The diplomat also spoke about the Russian customs service's March visit to Azerbaijan, during which a pilot project to simplify the customs corridor for participants in foreign economic activity was presented.

Furthermore, Bocharnikov stated that the majority of Russian regions are interested in long-term cooperation with Azerbaijan.

There is great potential for the two countries' scientific cooperation to grow. Furthermore, relations in the humanitarian sphere are developing, he added.

“Over the past 30 years, Azerbaijan-Russia relations have developed regularly and successfully in the political, trade, economic, and interregional sectors," the ambassador said.

Talking about the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Azerbaijani-Russian diplomatic relations, he suggested holding joint events on this occasion.

Every year, a large number of students leave for Russia under the state quota, and there are joint ties through the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, according to Bocharnikov.

“We know that our partners are interested in the education of many Azerbaijani young people in Russia,” he added.

Economical ties and foreign trade

Despite Russia's current unstable foreign trade and economic relations with other countries, Bocharnikov stated that all contracts with Azerbaijan will be fully implemented.

Furthermore, the diplomat stated that Russia supports Azerbaijan's admission as an observer to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

The ambassador stated that Azerbaijan's closer interaction with the SCO must come from within the country and that joint participation in the organization by Azerbaijan and Russia will help strengthen cooperation in trade, economy, and culture.

“Azerbaijan has great prestige in the international arena, its authority is growing and joining SCO would correspond to this trend,” Bocharnikov added.

The ambassador stated in a separate speech that the Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO) has developed a concept for information technology cooperation that Russian companies will be able to use.

According to the ambassador, the parties signed a document in 2020 envisioning cooperation in innovations and technologies, with which technology companies are actively cooperating.

Russian innovations, he claims, are in high demand in the Azerbaijani market.

“All Azerbaijani chain stores operate upon the Russian technologies. Moreover, both countries also cooperate in the field of space, which is of national importance for our countries,” he added.

Agriculture

Concerning agricultural exports, Bocharnikov stated that Russia's restrictions on wheat exports are only temporary and that all restrictions on the Azerbaijani tomato supply have been lifted.

According to the ambassador, Azerbaijan exported $1 billion in tomatoes to Russia in 2021.

"Azerbaijan's export to Russia increased by 38 percent during the first two months of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021, reaching $123 million," said Bocharnikov.

He said that Russia is willing to offer Azerbaijan projects for product supply to other markets.

"It is planned to increase the volume of deliveries of goods by rail and road from Azerbaijan to Russia and in the opposite direction, we are working on this issue. It is also planned to expand trade through the use of maritime transport," Bocharnikov said.

He mentioned that the Russian Export Center has tools to support the import of Azerbaijani goods.

"A solid foundation for trade and economic cooperation will allow us to expand our existing potential," Bocharnikov said.

In 2021, the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Russia amounted to $3.3 billion, which is more than before the COVID-19 pandemic, said the diplomat.

Tourism

Bocharnikov also discussed the opportunities for tourism in the current situation.

He stated that the opening of the Azerbaijani-Russian land border will bring a large number of tourists to both countries.

The ambassador stated that Azerbaijan has always been a popular tourist destination for Russians and that the ability to pay with MIR cards would help with the tourism flow.

"The flow of tourists from Russia to Azerbaijan has been actively growing lately and the possibility of paying with MIR payment system cards would greatly help to increase the number of Russian tourists in Azerbaijan," Bocharnikov said.

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Envoy: Russian MP's anti-Azerbaijan remarks detrimental to bilateral ties [PHOTO] - Gallery Image
Envoy: Russian MP's anti-Azerbaijan remarks detrimental to bilateral ties [PHOTO] - Gallery Image
Envoy: Russian MP's anti-Azerbaijan remarks detrimental to bilateral ties [PHOTO] - Gallery Image
Envoy: Russian MP's anti-Azerbaijan remarks detrimental to bilateral ties [PHOTO] - Gallery Image
Envoy: Russian MP's anti-Azerbaijan remarks detrimental to bilateral ties [PHOTO] - Gallery Image
Envoy: Russian MP's anti-Azerbaijan remarks detrimental to bilateral ties [PHOTO] - Gallery Image
Envoy: Russian MP's anti-Azerbaijan remarks detrimental to bilateral ties [PHOTO] - Gallery Image
Envoy: Russian MP's anti-Azerbaijan remarks detrimental to bilateral ties [PHOTO] - Gallery Image
Envoy: Russian MP's anti-Azerbaijan remarks detrimental to bilateral ties [PHOTO] - Gallery Image
Envoy: Russian MP's anti-Azerbaijan remarks detrimental to bilateral ties [PHOTO] - Gallery Image
Envoy: Russian MP's anti-Azerbaijan remarks detrimental to bilateral ties [PHOTO] - Gallery Image
Envoy: Russian MP's anti-Azerbaijan remarks detrimental to bilateral ties [PHOTO] - Gallery Image
Envoy: Russian MP's anti-Azerbaijan remarks detrimental to bilateral ties [PHOTO] - Gallery Image
Envoy: Russian MP's anti-Azerbaijan remarks detrimental to bilateral ties [PHOTO] - Gallery Image
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