Beginning of Russian-Azerbaijani talks
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Our relations can be described as very good. Everything we have agreed on is being implemented. Our trade is growing. It rose by over 16 percent last year and, according to our statistics, by about 5.5 percent in the first three months of this year. In other words, it is growing confidently.
Now to our political contacts. The Russian Foreign Minister has recently visited Azerbaijan. I would like to thank you for fitting a meeting with him into your schedule. We are preparing the visits of our Prime Minister and State Duma Speaker.
But the main thing is the implementation of our plans, or more precisely, our joint plan [of Russian-Azerbaijani cooperation] until 2024. We are moving forward. Of course, there are regional security issues, including with regard to the Karabakh settlement. You and I talked about this before, and now we have another opportunity to discuss this issue.
I would like to express special gratitude to you for the ideas you have formulated during our networking event, that is an informal lunch. It was a business-like meeting in the best meaning of the word. Our colleagues voiced many interesting ideas on regional cooperation development.
It was a beneficial meeting on all accounts, and our bilateral relations will receive a boost from our bilateral meeting today.
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev: Thank you very much, Mr Putin. I am delighted to meet with you again. Our meetings are always important for our relations, and I am confident that this meeting will help boost friendly and neighbourly relations between our countries as well.
You have pointed out a very important element of our cooperation, both within the framework of the Caspian “five” and in the bilateral format. We are pleased to note the growth of our trade, the development of our industrial cooperation and our relations in transport and energy.
Of course, today we will have one more opportunity to discuss the situation with regard to the regional situation and the settlement of regional conflicts.
Therefore, I hope that our relations will continue to develop successfully. As you have noted, your Foreign Minister, who is a high-level representative of the Russian Federation, has recently visited Azerbaijan. We are confident that relations between Russia and Azerbaijan will be developing successfully in the interests of our nations.
Once again, thank you for this meeting.