Statements for the press following the trilateral meeting of Vladimir Putin, President of Iran Hassan Rouhani and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev 2017-11-01 19:20:00 Tehran President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ladies and gentlemen, For my part, I would like to express satisfaction with the results of our joint work. I would like to thank the leadership of Iran for the invitation and Tehran residents for the patience they showed during our movements around the city. We saw how difficult this was. But I hope that our work today was not in vain. We really discussed very important issues of the trilateral format, and I am convinced that working in an open and genial manner with a shared striving to achieve positive results will bring benefits to our countries, states and people. We discussed important issues related to stability and fighting crime and terrorism, but economic matters were our primary focus. My colleagues have already spoken about this, and I do not wish to be repetitive. I would merely like to add that this very important North-South transport corridor has already gone through a test run. Last year supplies from India via Iran travelled to Russia and beyond. This route has proved its economic expediency and efficiency. It is well known that Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan are large hydrocarbon producers, but this does not mean we should compete. This means that we should coordinate our efforts. Incidentally, coordination within OPEC has already produced positive results, and this would have been impossible if this work had not been joined by countries that are not part of this cartel. The same is taking place in the organisation of gas producers. We are cooperating in this area too and will continue to do so. I would like to point out that despite large-scale production of hydrocarbons in each of our countries, there is, strange as it may seem, interest in supplying hydrocarbon to each other, having in mind the internal logistics. For instance, we confirm our readiness to deliver gas to the north of Iran via the pipeline system in Azerbaijan, which may make economic sense for our partners. We spoke about developing relations in other sectors. We believe humanitarian cooperation is very important: in education, medicine, contacts between the regions of our countries, and cultural ties. Needless to say, and my colleagues also spoke about this, all of us are Caspian states. I hope we will soon finalize all the parameters of our agreements on the Caspian issues and status, which should be signed in the near future. Bilateral talks were also held during today’s visit. I often meet with the President of Azerbaijan too. We compared notes on several of the most important questions, noted the growth of bilateral trade and discussed promising areas of our cooperation. I talked with President Rouhani about bilateral contacts, including economic ties in the power industry, transport engineering and agriculture. I also had a very detailed conversation with the Supreme Leader of Iran. It was very substantive and very useful. In both cases, we discussed in detail security in the region, issues linked with Iran’s nuclear programme, and, of course, the situation in Syria. I would like to note that our work with Iran is very productive. We manage to coordinate our positions on Syria-related problems. Owing to our joint efforts and the efforts of Turkey the fight against terrorism in Syria is proceeding very well. The negotiating process in Astana is producing positive results. The latest round of talks has just been successfully completed there. There are plenty of issues and none of them can be resolved unilaterally. No one side, no one country can resolve this problem on its own. We are hoping for further productive cooperation with our Iranian partners and friends, and I give high marks to the results of today’s visit. I would like to thank the President for the atmosphere that was created during today’s work. Thank you for your attention. President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani (retranslated): To begin with, I would like to thank President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev for accepting my invitation. Today we have held the second trilateral summit meeting in Tehran. This meeting is based on friendship and neighbourly relations between our three countries. Friendship, geographical proximity and cultural ties will serve our nations’ prosperity. During the summits in Baku and Tehran, we discussed several issues the progress of which we will be monitoring. One of these important issues concerns transit routes between our three countries, that is, transit routes between Asia and Europe. The North-South transport corridor will connect the two continents. We believe that Bandar Abbas will be connected to Helsinki in the future, thereby connecting Asia and Europe. The route will go via Azerbaijan and Russia and on via Eastern and Northern Europe. We talked about the development of motorway and sea transport. Our three countries are located on the Caspian Sea, which we should use as the sea of peace and friendship for all the regional countries and to use its resources accordingly. We also intend to continue to promote economic relations between our three countries. We are making a big step towards joining Eurasia and towards positive cooperation between Iran and Eurasian countries. We plan to create a green customs corridor between our three countries and to coordinate our customs standards. During this summit in Tehran, we talked about cooperation in banking and about the use of national currencies in Iran-Azerbaijan and Iran-Russia trade, as well as in trilateral trade, so that we would be able to use our national currencies both in the bilateral and in the trilateral format. We discussed cooperation in the energy sphere. All three countries are rich in oil and gas resources and have a unique regional and international location. We spoke about cooperation in the area of oil and gas extraction equipment. And we also talked about investments in the energy sector, which plays a very important role for our countries. Our power grids must be synchronised as soon as they become interconnected so that we could use each other's current power generating potential. Apart from economic matters, we also touched upon environmental issues, especially as regards the Caspian Sea. Our countries, all three of us, are Caspian states, so we discussed ways to speedily finalise the legal status of the Caspian Sea, which would enable us to exploit the existing potential of this sea. Mr Putin proposed holding the next summit in Russia. We accepted it. Let me thank Mr Putin and announce that the next summit will be held in Russia. In addition to economic cooperation, we also talked about regional cooperation and the trilateral cooperation format between Iran, Russia and Turkey in this area. During this summit, all three countries reiterated the need for regional stability, as well as the need to fight terrorism, drug trafficking and organised crime. Relations between our three countries are developing steadily. We intend to use our potentials for the prosperity of our nations. Thank you for your attention. President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev (retranslated): Mr President Rouhani, Mr President Putin, ladies and gentlemen, First of all, I would like to thank Mr Rouhani for his hospitality. I am happy to be here again, in this brotherly country. Today Mr Rouhani, President Putin and I held meetings to discuss the further development of our relations. They are developing well and are at a high level. As for the trilateral format of cooperation, as you know, the first summit took place in August 2016 in Baku at Azerbaijan’s initiative. This summit shows that this format is successful and has a good future. Trilateral cooperation is quite natural because our peoples share a common history and geography. For centuries, they have enjoyed close ties with each other. The trilateral format is very important for regional security and I think that our successful cooperation plays a big role in providing stability and security in the region. Of course, we are also united by a series of economic and infrastructure projects, and Mr Rouhani touched upon this in his speech. Azerbaijan is the world’s only country that has land borders both with Iran and Russia. This position is, of course, favourable for successful cooperation in all areas. Important events have happened since the previous summit, although it has only been slightly over a year. Agreements that we reached last year are being implemented, especially those in the economy; we heard some statistics about it today. This year, our trade with Russia grew by over 60 percent and with Iran by 30 percent; last year it grew by over 70 percent. This shows that the three countries share very sincere, friendly relations, and this is much appreciated by businesses. In addition, the growing trade testifies to the successful development of our economy, and the sharp drop in oil prices did not affect our economy in particular. In addition, in the period since the previous summit, Azerbaijan has improved its railway infrastructure, having built a railway to the border with Iran. The first train passed through the Azerbaijani-Iranian border this March. At present, the Azerbaijani section in the North-South transport corridor is fully ready for exploitation. Let the media know about it. An agreement has already been reached on the financing of the railway. The document has been initialled. After these procedures are implemented, this issue will also find a solution. As for the oil and gas sector, we have a long history of cooperation in this area. Since all three countries contribute to energy security, they also play a significant role in stabilising oil prices. We can see that the OPEC countries and non-member countries are cooperating in earnest, and as a result of this cooperation prices have reached an acceptable level. We have connected electricity lines with both Iran and Russia, and a good basis for regional cooperation is being laid. A lot of issues have been resolved in the past year. And as a result of the agreements reached today, I hope that by the next summit we will achieve good results and inform the public about them. Our cooperation is natural, sincere, based on friendship, mutual respect, and, of course, is of great importance for the region. The current summit was held at a high level, for which I would like to express my gratitude once again to Mr Rouhani.