Elmar Mammadyarov: much has been done in 25 years of relations with Russia, but much remains to be done
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov arrived in Russia today for an official visit. The visit is timed to the 25th anniversary of the Azerbaijani-Russian diplomatic ties, which were established on April 4, 1992.
Together with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, Mammadyarov attended the opening ceremony of an exhibition devoted to the establishment of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Russia at the Diplomatic Academy of Russia’s Foreign Ministry.
"Our relations have continued for centuries. The exhibition is presenting documents fixing the ongoing development of the strategic partnership between Russia and Azerbaijan. I am sure the researchers will be pleased with the fact that we have the opportunity to present the whole process of development of our relations, including a treaty on friendship, cooperation and security in 1997," Sergey Lavrov said, inviting everyone to get acquainted with the exhibition.
Elmar Mammadyarov thanked the Russian Minister for his invitation to pay an official visit to Russia. "We have a long-standing good tradition of exchanging visits every year. Every time I am pleased to visit Moscow to talk with my friend and counterpart Sergei Lavrov. He just said about 25 years of diplomatic relations, it is a little longer than one generation, but we have done a lot for this time. More than 200 bilateral documents were signed, the relations are actively developing not only at the Moscow-Baku level, but also with the Russian regions," the Azerbaijani minister stressed.
"More than 40 regions have direct contacts with Azerbaijan. We believe that much has been done in 25 years, but much remains to be done. The part of our today talks will be focused on this topic, in order that we, as leaders of the Foreign Ministries could think through ways to further intensify our bilateral relations," Mammadyarov added.
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister explained that the republic is seeking to expand its trade relations with Russia. "I share high estimations of the development of friendly and partnership relations between Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation. The trade volume between our countries is growing, but we need to recognize that it can be increased significantly. The Azerbaijani-Russian relations have not undergone serious trials and turmoil in these 25 years. Azerbaijan loves and honors Russian language. Russian universities are opening their branches in Baku with great pleasure, and I think that is a very good sign that we are moving in the right direction," the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza cited him as saying.
Lavrov described the partnership between Russia and Azerbaijan as a critical and strategic. "The contacts are scheduled at the level of presidents, parliaments, heads of various departments and, of course, regions of Russia and Azerbaijan. The inter-parliamentary ties are intensively developing, partnerships of the ministries of Foreign Affairs are designed to provide movement in all these areas, in accordance with the instructions coordinated by our leaders," he noted.
Then, the plan of inter-Foreign Ministry contacts for 2017-2018 was signed.