Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia and Kyrgyzstan continue building a united customs territory, where customs duties and economic restrictions don't operate. At the same time, members of the Customs Union use common customs rates and other regulation measures in trading with other countries. Meanwhile, the EaEU members, primarily Russia and Kazakhstan, actively cooperate with Azerbaijan in the customs sphere.
The head of the Russian Federal Customs Service, Andrei Belianinov, visited Baku in early February. He stated that the country was developing rapidly in all spheres, including the customs sphere. The head of the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan, Aydyn Aliyev, said at the meeting that customs bodies played a big role in building and developing relations between the two countries. The customs officials of Russia and Azerbaijan signed a plan of bilateral cooperation for 2015-2016.
Andrei Belianinov told Vestnik Kavkaza about development of contacts in the customs sphere: “10 days ago we conducted a joint board on the territory of Armenia. It was the first joint board with the participation of the Armenian customs service. They acted as hosts. The issues we examined were absolutely substantive, there was no pathos, no declarative ones. It was all due to the simplification of customs procedures. It was already the 13th meeting. We always welcome our friends to our board, colleagues from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan is already on the threshold of joining the Customs Union. And, unfortunately, recently our colleagues from Ukraine stopped coming. We note that with some sadness, because the lack of dialogue with our Ukrainian colleagues does not allow us to solve many problems associated with, say, border cooperation. There are many more questions.”
Speaking about his visit to Baku, Andrei Belianinov said: “We discussed the organization of a 'green corridor' for food products which come from Azerbaijan and through Azerbaijan, because we are interested in the creation of favorable conditions. We have such a term 'perishable'. To maximize the speed of transportation of perishable products to consumers in Russia. It is really very interesting to work with our Azerbaijani counterparts. We are learning a lot from them. They are, if I may say, advanced, especially in the field of IT-technology, organization of work at border crossing points with the use of technical means. We have something assembled, and with their permission will introduce that in our everyday life. And yet the head of the customs service of Azerbaijan, Aydin Aliyev, among the leaders of CIS Customs Services, has now become the doyen. What can be the attitude to an older person? Only respectful, with reverence.”
Russia is interested in extension of economic cooperation with Azerbaijan. The director of the Analytical Center of MGIMO (University), Andrei Kazantsev, told Vestnik Kavkaza that “a natural process of growth of the international role of Azerbaijan is occurring. It is primarily associated with its economic opportunities, because Azerbaijan accounts for about 2/3 of the GDP of the South Caucasus now. And this is an indicator of quite a successful model of economic development. This is the first thing. Secondly, Azerbaijan is conducting a multidirectional, fairly balanced policy, which allows it to maintain sufficiently good relations with all the key states involved in the post-Soviet space. It also naturally leads to an increase in the international role of Azerbaijan, because some natural competition for influence in Azerbaijan is forming between the key players who are fighting for influence in the post-Soviet space.”