Ilham Aliyev, President of Russia Vladimir Putin, held a one-on-one meeting
22 february 2022, 15:40
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, who is on an official visit to Russia at the invitation of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, and President of Russia have held a one-on-one meeting.
The heads of state addressed the meeting.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said:
- Hello. Unfortunately, the pandemic does not allow us to communicate and meet properly. This is somewhat disturbing, but I am glad to see you anyway. Thank you for accepting my invitation.
Your visit is taking place on the eve of a significant event in our bilateral relations – the 30th anniversary of establishing our diplomatic relations. Today we will sign the Declaration on Allied Relations. Obviously, this is a new stage in the development of our relations. Of course, this has been possible also due to the settlement of the Karabakh conflict, which has not been fully resolved yet, but progress has been made in its resolution.
In my opinion, despite the problems we still face in today's life, we can be satisfied that we have reached the level we are at today. Of course, we will talk about this in greater detail today. However, in any case, there are already certain agreements in terms of ensuring the safety of all the people living there, the development of trade and economic relations, and the opening of transport communications.
I know that there are still disputes and issues to be worked out. However, for our part, we will do our best to ensure that this process goes on peacefully, develops peacefully and, of course, to the satisfaction of all the parties involved in this process.
By the way, both the Russian Federation and, as far as I know, your other neighbors are interested in resolving these issues, including transport communications, because not only Azerbaijan and Armenia are interested in it – Russia, I repeat, and all your other neighbors are interested as well.
As for trade and economic relations, they are constantly evolving. Despite the pandemic, our trade turnover increased by more than 16 percent last year, a very good figure. Thank you for supporting our interaction. In this regard, we have very serious plans. Our economic relations are well-diversified, creating good preconditions for further progress.
We are grateful to you for supporting the resolution of humanitarian issues, which are sensitive for us and, in my opinion, very important for Azerbaijan – first of all, the development of the Russian language. I know that the Russian language is actively taught in 300 schools in Azerbaijan, and this language is popular. Of course, we will continue to support it by all means.
Regional relations are developing quite effectively.
Of course, I would like to take this opportunity to inform you about what is happening in Ukraine. As you know, yesterday, Russia decided to recognize the sovereignty of the two people's republics of the Donbas.
I want to say from the beginning that we are seeing the speculation on this issue – about Russia's preparations for the restoration of the empire within the former empire's borders. We saw it almost from the beginning. This is not true at all.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia accepted the new geopolitical realities and, as you know, is actively working to strengthen our relations with all countries and independent states in the post-Soviet space. Even in acute situations such as the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, we always acted very carefully, taking into account the interests of all states involved in the process and always tried to reach mutually acceptable solutions.
Unfortunately, after the coup in Ukraine, we do not see this level and quality of relations with Ukraine. The previous level is gone. I want to emphasize that this happened after the coup and the illegal seizure of power by those who carried out this coup.
Just now, before meeting with you, I was talking to the President of Kazakhstan. In my opinion, this is a second very good example of Russia's support for the sovereignty of our neighbors, for strengthening it by all means. The example of Kazakhstan also proves and confirms our policy.
As you know, at the request of the Kazakh leadership, we supported Kazakhstan within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization in connection with the foreign aggression of international terrorism. As soon as this problem was resolved, at the request of the Kazakh leadership, we withdrew all our armed forces from within the contingent of the Collective Security Treaty Organization and continue to cooperate with Kazakhstan in all areas. It is beyond doubt that this work is in the interests of both Russia and Kazakhstan and strengthens the sovereignty of Kazakhstan.
We intend to continue to act in this way in relation to all our neighbors. I repeat – the situation with Ukraine is different. This is due to the fact that, unfortunately, the territory of this country is used by third countries to create threats against the Russian Federation. That is all there is to it. Now we will have the opportunity to talk about everything in more detail. I will inform you about the details.
In any case, let me repeat that I am very glad to see you.
You are welcome.
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President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said:
- Thank you very much, dear Vladimir Vladimirovich. First of all, thank you for inviting me to pay an official visit to Russia. I am glad that our relations are regular in nature. We met with you in late November, less than three months ago. Today I am visiting the Russian Federation. All this indicates that our relations are developing very dynamically. We are always in touch. We speak on the phone. Of course, our personal meetings are always of special importance, especially because, as you mentioned, we are on the eve of the signing of the most important document between our countries. It is symbolic that this meeting, as you mentioned, is taking place on the eve of the 30th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between our countries. In my opinion, this document will definitely be very positive for our countries, our relations, and regional security. We appreciate and are strengthening the friendly and good-neighborly relations between our countries. The signing of the Declaration on Allied Relations is a good illustration of how hard we have worked in recent years and increased the potential for mutual cooperation. These are not just words and intentions but specific actions. The declaration is quite broad. It has more than 40 paragraphs. It covers the most important areas of our interaction and, as I have already said, will be of great importance for the future of our bilateral relations.
In general, the political relations between our countries have constantly been developing very positively in recent years. At present, these relations are reaching the highest level. I would like to share your view on the sound dynamics of trade and economic relations. Our trade turnover already exceeds $3 billion and, as you mentioned, has increased by 16 percent. There are prospects for further growth this year as well, as evidenced by the January figures. We are implementing numerous specific projects. Of course, we will talk about that today. Thank you for your appreciation of our work in the humanitarian field.
Thank you, you always emphasize this, appreciate our efforts, and as you rightly said, it is important for both Russia and Azerbaijan. As for schools, I would like to clarify a bit. There are about 340 Russian-language schools in Azerbaijan, and more than 140,000 children are studying in them. More than 15,000 citizens in Azerbaijan study in Russian-language departments at universities. In my opinion, this is a very important basis of our relations and future ties because the Russian language has always united the countries of the former Soviet Union, and, of course, it will be very difficult to regulate the relations of future generations without speaking Russian. Therefore, as I said, this is a very important factor in our lives.
Of course, as you mentioned, today we will talk about the situation in our region, the post-conflict situation. The Russian Federation has played a very important role in stopping the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia and moving the conflict from a hot phase to a political-diplomatic one. The Trilateral Statement signed with your active participation in November 2020 allowed us the opportunity to resolve this long-standing conflict. A new situation has emerged now, and the world community has accepted today's geopolitical realities in the region. Russia plays a significant and, I would say, the key role in the normalization of relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia, the opening of transport communications, and the creation of opportunities for normal neighborly relations. We appreciate this role very much. We hope that the Armenian side, like us, will fulfill all the provisions of the Statement it signed in November 2020.
So our agenda is very extensive. This is a memorable visit. This is my 48th visit to Russia as President, but it is remarkable. Today we will sign a very important, historic document. Thank you again for the invitation. President Vladimir Putin: Thank you.