President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Eid Mubarak! Happy holiday [Eid al-Adha]! My congratulations to you. I wish you all the best.
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev: Thank you very much.
Vladimir Putin: We will celebrate a big holiday next year – 30 years of diplomatic relations.
I would like to thank you for coming here. Thank God, we are restoring our relations after the coronavirus. I am referring primarily to the economy. Last year we saw a decline, and now we have confident growth, a recovery.
Russia is confidently in the lead in the economy. Our intergovernmental commission is working actively, there are many areas of cooperation.
We plan to send our representative delegation to your country in the near future. It will deal with these issues in Baku. They meet regularly at various venues. It will be a mixed group covering different spheres, such as industry, transport, infrastructure, some other issues.
We are cooperating in countering the coronavirus and doing so more and more vigorously. I think we have already supplied 100,000 [vaccine doses].
Ilham Aliyev: Even more than that.
Vladimir Putin: We are working on launching joint production in Azerbaijan.
Of course, a settlement in the region remains one of the most important issues. I know that you certainly pay a lot of attention to this important matter, and I would like to thank you for finding compromise solutions in this area. They are always the most complicated ones, but if we want a settlement – and we all want it – we must follow this path. Up to now, we have managed to do this, and I would like to thank you for this.
I am very happy to see you. Welcome.
Ilham Aliyev: Thank you, Mr President. Thank you, first of all, for the invitation. I am also very happy to see you. This is a good opportunity to discuss issues of cooperation once again.
Thank you for your greetings. I would like to use this opportunity to congratulate all Russian Muslims on Eid al-Adha. This is a holiday of solidarity, a holiday of togetherness.
Of course, I fully agree with your assessment of our bilateral agenda. We are moving forward with confidence. Our trade has grown in the first six months of the year. This is very important because last year it dropped by over 10 percent.
We are actively building cooperation in transport and shipping transits. I was told that this year freight volumes on the North-South transport corridor increased 20 percent over last year. So, the corridor is already seeing impressive volume.
I would like to thank you for your assistance in countering the coronavirus. We have received over 200,000 Sputnik V vaccine doses from Russia and we are expecting more. I know that many would like to get this vaccine because it has proven its efficiency. Of course, it is probably very difficult to supply everyone, but we are friends and partners and I would like to thank you again for giving us priority among your vaccine recipients.
I would like to tell you that this year our Baku branch of Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University had its first graduates. This is an important event. Time goes quickly and there are over a thousand students at our two branches – of Moscow and Sechenov universities. More than 15,000 Azerbaijani students study in Russia and 16,000 Azerbaijani students study at the Russian language faculty in Azerbaijan.
So, a large number of Azerbaijani youth is already linked to Russia by language, contacts and education. I think this is very important in transferring our experience to the younger generation.
Of course, there is the issue of the post-conflict situation in the region. I would also like to thank you for your permanent attention to this issue and your personal involvement in resolving vital and sensitive issues. We are always in touch.
I believe in the past eight months after the end of hostilities, our personal contacts – in Moscow in January and by telephone – played a major role in stabilising the situation. We want the post-conflict period to be as painless as possible. I think we are coping with this through a concerted effort.
Thank you for your invitation once again, and now let’s discuss the important issues of cooperation and regional problems.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you.