Vladimir Putin and Ilham Aliyev to hold talks

Vladimir Putin and Ilham Aliyev to hold talks

Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold talks with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev today, the press secretary of the Russian president Dmitry Peskov said.

"Today, a working contact between President Putin and Azerbaijani President Aliyev will be held in the evening in Sochi," RIA Novosti cited him as saying.

Vladimir Putin is in Sochi today.He is expected to visit the Sirius Educational Centre for Gifted Children, attend a meeting of the board of trustees of the center and meet with children.

Political scientist Rovshan Ibragimov, speaking with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the meeting was not announced in advance. "Extraordinary negotiations are most likely to focus on the constant topic of contacts between Russia and Azerbaijan - the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Apparently, the Presidents need to talk about the latest escalation in the conflict zone personally, where a small Azerbaijani girl and her grandmother died. They also can discuss the future meeting of the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia, especially since the foreign ministers in Brussels could not agree on it," he said.

We should also expect discussion of the economic agenda of bilateral relations. "An important topic is the implementation of the North-South international transport corridor project. The presidents of Russia, Azerbaijan, and Iran have intensively communicated with each other on this topic recently. It should not be excluded that Azerbaijan is also looking for ways of possible acquisition of Russian gas: on July 3, SOCAR president Rovnag Abdullayev met with Gazprom's president Alexei Miller in St. Petersburg, and it is possible that these talks will continue in Sochi today. These topics will be in focus today, unless, of course, something extraordinary happened," Rovshan Ibrahimov stressed.

The leading expert of the North-South Political Science Center, Alexander Karavaev, in turn, noted that the presidents have quite a lot of current issues to discuss. "These are the issues of the continuation of trade and economic cooperation, the issues of military-technical cooperation, the continuation of arms deliveries, that is, the whole range of cooperation between Russia and Azerbaijan from economics to foreign policy. There are also many relevant topics, for example, the proposal for Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan to take part in police missions, but the main thing is trade and economic interaction and investment projects," he expects.

According to the expert, one of the key topics could be the discussion of the future Russian-Azerbaijani-Iranian cooperation. "The new theme is the further development of the trilateral format with Iran. In August 2016, the first meeting of the presidents of Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia was held in Baku, and in order to maintain the viability of the projects discussed in this format, a second meeting should be prepared a year later. First of all, it is the North-South corridor," he listed.

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