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Baku, Moscow discuss mutual trade, economic cooperation, media issues

27 June 2022 15:51 (UTC+04:00)
Baku, Moscow discuss mutual trade, economic cooperation, media issues

By Vugar Khalilov

Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov said that they discussed mutual trade, as well as economic cooperation with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov during the latter’s visit to Azerbaijan, Azernews reports.

Bayramov made the remarks at a joint press conference with Lavrov on June 24 in Baku.

"Azerbaijan has direct economic relations with more than 70 subjects of Russia, while Russia is the third-largest trade and economic partner of our country," he said.

"We had the opportunity to discuss a broad agenda and paid attention to economic cooperation between our countries. The results of trade turnover for 2021 were noted with satisfaction, despite the ongoing and existing negative impact of COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic," Bayramov said.

According to Bayramov, bilateral trade between Russia and Azerbaijan surpassed $3 billion in 2021 increasing by 12 percent.

The minister stressed that Azerbaijan attaches great importance to cooperation with Russia within the framework of the inter-governmental commission on economic issues.

The meeting between Russia and Azerbaijan, which took place on April 26, 2022, in Baku, celebrated the 30th anniversary of the start of diplomatic relations this year, he added.

"Co-Chairmen of Commission are also in constant contact and they discussed a number of projects that are currently under development and execution on the margins of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum [in Russia, on 15-18 June 2022]," he said.

Furthermore, the Azerbaijani top diplomat added that Russia and Azerbaijan attach special importance to the expansion of transport links.

“Along with other projects and areas, we attach even greater importance to the expansion of transit and communication ties. In this context, the North-South project is of particular importance. In recent years, it has proved its efficiency and has very great prospects for expansion, which was also discussed in the framework of our today's meeting,” the minister said.

At a news conference with his Russian colleague Sergey Lavrov, Bayramov stressed the need for the ratification of cooperation with the Caspian littoral states.

"The Caspian Sea is a significant element of cooperation between all five coastal countries. The historical meaning of the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea, which was signed at the fifth summit in 2018, was once again noted. Furthermore, Russia and Azerbaijan have long completed all domestic procedures, and the ratification has already been completed between our countries. So now, we need to combine efforts and complete the ratification process by all the Caspian states," the minister opined.

He noted that even the partial completion of the ratification process would help the Caspian littoral states cooperate and develop documents on interaction in the Caspian region and a number of other areas.

"The high-level elaboration and preparation for the sixth summit, to be held next week in Turkmenistan, is of great importance as well," the minister said.

Azerbaijan seeks to enhance productive cooperation with Russia for the prosperity of both nations, he added.

Bayramov stated that Russia and Azerbaijan had inked an agreement on information security.

The agreement, the minister said, is about the issues that arise from exploiting cyberspace for military goals, not media activity. Russia was the catalyst for these conversations, which have been going on for a while at the UN. The special organization was established to stop the use of cyberspace for nefarious and military objectives.

"As for the media, we're to hold a special series of events between top media executives on both sides, including social media owners, and speak candidly about the way we cover events in each other's territory based on respect for each other's laws and principles of freedom of information. We agreed to organize such an event under the aegis of the information services of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” Lavrov said.

Bayramov outlined the high-level interaction between the relevant structures.

“It's no secret that our countries have recently faced some problems. Several private Azerbaijani media resources were blocked in Russia, and earlier this month, RIA Novosti news agency was blocked in Azerbaijan,” he said.

The Azerbaijani minister noted that the sides should work out principles to prevent such cases in the future.


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