President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev: Mr Putin, I am very glad to see you. Welcome to Azerbaijan! I am confident that your visit will act as a further impetus for our relations.
Our relations are developing very dynamically, successfully and in a positive direction. They span many areas and today we will have the opportunity to discuss both our bilateral agenda as well as regional issues.
Our agenda is quite varied: we have good economic results (even better than expected), as well as traditionally good results and prospects in cultural and educational spheres. In other words, our relations are developing very successfully.
Naturally, your visit has a special role to play in their development. So I am sure that the positive dynamics that characterise our relationship will continue after your visit.
Let me once again welcome you from the bottom of my heart: welcome!
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Aliyev, thank you very much for the invitation.
Indeed, our countries’ relations are developing very successfully. Despite the difficult situation in the global economy, last year our trade turnover increased by more than 40 percent – it was almost 50 percent. This is one of our records.
Russia remains one Azerbaijan’s best trade and economic partners – we are second overall – and our trade turnover is growing. It is particularly gratifying that trade is very well-balanced from both Azerbaijan and Russia’s perspective.
Our ties are developing in a great many areas and we can justly call them diversified. It is especially nice that there are a lot of initiatives, including from our Azerbaijani partners, aimed at developing cultural and educational ties. I know that you have made personal initiatives in this respect, and we will discuss all this today.
I am confident that our meeting today will help our relations develop. A large team of ministers who work in key areas of our cooperation have travelled here with me. So our work will be substantial, wide-ranging, interesting and very useful.
Ilham Aliyev: Thank you.