Vladimir Putin: Mr President,
Allow me once again to warmly welcome you to Moscow.
We are very pleased to note that relations between Russia and Azerbaijan have developed very intensively over the last two years and are now at a very high level. Our trade and economic ties are developing and our trade turnover has grown on average by more than 50 percent a year over the last two years.
Together we are examining serious projects, including in the fuel and energy sector. We now have an ongoing high-level political dialogue. Our governments cooperate closely, an intergovernmental commission is working constantly and intensively, and I think that the first big seminar on Russian-Azerbaijani cooperation scheduled for the end of March will also mark a positive stage in further developing our relations.
We meet frequently at various levels to discuss security issues in the Caucasus region and our work together in the fight against terrorism. I hope that this will benefit the peoples of both Russia and Azerbaijan. I am sure that this will be the case.
Again welcome, Mr President. We are very happy to see you and to have this opportunity to receive you here in Moscow.
Thank you very much, Mr President.
First of all, I would like to thank you for your invitation to come to Russia on an official visit. I value this very much. But before turning to our bilateral relations, I would like to express to you and to all Russian people my sincere condolences following the tragedy that took place in the Moscow metro, a tragedy that has cost many lives and caused much suffering. This is a truly tragic event and indeed a great sorrow. I understand how difficult this day is for the Russian people and I therefore offer you my most heartfelt condolences and wish a speedy recovery to all who suffered in this tragedy.
As you noted, our bilateral relations are showing rapid, all-round and successful development. We do have very good political contacts and we have complete understanding on bilateral issues and questions of regional cooperation, and we share the same views on many international issues. Azerbaijan sees Russia as a strategic partner. We are faithful to this strategic partnership and are consistent in pursuing this policy. The processes underway in our bilateral relations over the last three years enable us to say with certainty that the dynamic and consistent development we see in our relations today will continue in the future. We have every interest in making this happen. I am sure that the peoples of Russia and Azerbaijan both have an interest in closer cooperation between our countries. We have a lot in common and this is why I was so pleased to have the chance to come here and discuss all the issues that concern us. And I would like to thank you once again for your hospitality and your invitation and for the chance to come to Moscow and meet with you and with our other colleagues.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you, Mr President.
Thank you for your condolences. I think that the fight against terrorism will be one of the main issues we will discuss today, and I am sure that if we act as planned and join forces on the bilateral level, in the Caucasus in general and internationally, then we will achieve success in this fight. I have no doubt that our law enforcement agencies will be able to organise effective work in fighting terrorism.
I know that Azerbaijan has recently put in place very effective and consistent measures to fight crime and terrorism. I hope that all our relevant services will work just as professionally throughout the Caucasus, and throughout Europe and the rest of the world. Only by joining forces will we be able to vanquish this “plague of our times.”