Idea generator for Moscow and Baku
The third inter-regional forum "Russian-Azerbaijani dialogue - 2012" held by the Institute of Eurasian Studies with the support of the administrations of Presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan ended in Baku. Vladimir Putin called the forum "one of the most effective tools of interaction," "a platform for open and constructive dialogue between the two countries" and "a powerful idea generator for the future of our bilateral relations." Ilham Aliyev also expressed confidence that "business communications and discussions within the forum will give new impetus to the development of Azerbaijani-Russian relations."
Speaking about the role of interregional partnerships in the context of Azerbaijani-Russian relations, Vladimir Chernov, Head of Russian Presidential Administration's Department for Interregional and cultural relations with foreign countries, recalled that “more than 70 Russian regions are involved in this process". At the same time, according to Ramiz Mehdiyev, Head of the Administration of the President off Azerbaijan, "Russia accounts for more than 50% of the trade turnover of Azerbaijan with the CIS countries ... Last year the trade turnover between the two countries broke the record amounting to 2.828 billion dollars., In other words, its volume has increased by 47.4% compared to 2010. There has not been such a result for all the history of our relationship ... Russian exports items are, first of all, machinery and equipment, chemical products, timber, pulp and paper products. Azerbaijan supplies to Russia mainly energy resources, metals and their products, fruits and other agricultural products ... in Azerbaijan 457 Russian enterprises and organizations operate. Of these, 219 are in full Russian ownership, 149 are joint ventures, and 89 are representative offices and branches. These are such companies as, for instance, “LUKoil”, “Baltika”, investment and commercial Bank “Nikoil”, “VTB”.
Shahin Mustafayev, the Economic Development Minister of Azerbaijan, said that last year Russia was "the third by the volume of trade among the trade partners of Azerbaijan. She was in first place among countries exporting goods to Azerbaijan, and the fourth among the countries importing Azerbaijani products. Azerbaijan is also specially developing its relations with the regions of the Russian Federation. Azerbaijan has established ties with 70 federal entities of 83. "
According to the Russian Ambassador in Baku, Vladimir Dorokhin, last year the representatives of the seven subjects of Russia visited Azerbaijan: "The two sides signed six agreements on cooperation between Azerbaijan and the Russian regions. And today, the sides feel real benefits from the developing relationships, including the regional level. " Sergei Subbotin, Deputy Presidential Envoy to the North Caucasus Federal District, said that "the most of transactions between the parties are on raw materials and primary products. The problem of Russia is to involve Azerbaijan in the development of the tourism cluster in the North Caucasus. Many countries expressed their interest in the development of ski resorts, but, unfortunately, there are only few representatives of the Azerbaijani business in this field... Russia has creates a committee which will deal with keeping track of all the contacts of the North Caucasus Federal District. We want to create the united representation office of the North Caucasus Federal District in Azerbaijan. "
Meanwhile, the forum has already enriched the Russian-Azerbaijani interregional ties with two new documents. As part of the implementation of the investment agreement on building the factory "Matanat-A" in the Krasnodar Krai, the agreement on the empowerment of the official dealer of "Agasa" company was signed. In addition, the cooperation agreement was signed by the rectors of St. Petersburg State University of Economics and Finance of the Azerbaijan State Economic University. Commenting on this document, Yefim Pivovar, the rector of Russian State University for the Humanities, the head of the Russian-Azerbaijani Friendship Society, said: "We are strengthening our cooperation in the humanitarian field step by step ... At this forum the key directions of future work were identified. The current interregional forum will undoubtedly strengthen horizontal ties and contacts between civil societies in the regions of Russia and Azerbaijan. "
Meanwhile, it is obvious that no matter how strong the Russian-Azerbaijani relations without going to a larger international format. The presentation of the report "Prospects for economic cooperation between Azerbaijan and Russia in the conditions of formation of the Eurasian modernization project" prepared by the group of Russian and Azerbaijani experts under the auspices of the Political Science Center "North-South" was made within the forum According to one of the authors of the report, Alexei Vlasov, the editor-in-chief of VK, the interaction between Azerbaijan and the countries of the Common Economic Space has promising future. "The successful experience of Azerbaijan in its relations with partners, the leadership of Baku in its relations with Minsk, Chisinau, Bishkek, serious prospects in the Azerbaijani-Ukrainian relations - all of this matches the general atmosphere of post-Soviet integration, greatly contributing to the energy of the Russian programs. However, if we're talking about a new stage of development in Azerbaijan, its participation in the Eurasian project at least as a dialogue partner is much needed. "
Ismail Agakishiev, the so-author of the report, the co-founder of the center "North-South" and the Russian expert,l stressed the importance of the traditional market embracing the territory of the former Soviet countries for non-oil sector, as well as the relevance of a legal instrument on the protection of Russian investments for the economy of Azerbaijan. Such a document, according to Agakishiev, can become a powerful lever for attracting large-scale non-oil sector investments. "If we take into account the large number of successful Russian entrepreneurs who are ethnic Azerbaijanis, the success of mutually beneficial activation of Russian business in Azerbaijan is evident," - the expert said.