Vladimir Putin: Russia-Azerbaijan relations based on good-neighborliness and mutual respect
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is visiting Baku, addressed a plenary meeting of the 9th Russian-Azerbaijani Regional Forum in Baku.
"The 9th interregional forum shows that in the previous years we did not waste our time and were busy working in all areas, which is bringing results," the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza cited him as saying.
"While speaking about relations between Russia and Azerbaijan, I would like to point out that relations between our countries are definitely based on the principles of good-neighborliness and mutual respect. We always search for a balance of interests and succeed in finding it," the Russian leader stressed.
"Allow me to repeat and remind you about a few things. In any case, in this hall we have representatives of science, the creative community, business, politics – and this help us to generally get good results. I would like to point out that interregional links are the most important component of relations between our countries. Seventy Russian regions work closely with the regions of Azerbaijan. The leaders here are Moscow, Moscow Region, St Petersburg, as well as Stavropol and Krasnodar territories, and Astrakhan, Nizhny Novgorod, Chelyabinsk, Volgograd, Saratov and Sverdlovsk regions," Putin said.
The Russian president went on saying that a package of documents paving the way for the further development of ties between Russia and Azerbaijan had been signed at a summit held in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on September 1.
Putin noted that about 700 joint ventures were active on the Azerbaijani market, while Russia’s direct investment in the country exceeds $1.5 billion.
"In 2017, the deliveries of Azerbaijani agricultural products to Russia significantly grew - almost by 12% - reaching $500 mln. Our partners have been taking particular interest in this field," Putin said, noting that over 30 Azerbaijani companies were taking part in an international food fair being in Moscow.
"The Russia-Azerbaijan Business Council is a great help when it comes to establishing mutually beneficial business contacts. Last year alone, it supported 42 joint projects worth around half a billion US dollars in total," he stressed.
According to him, Moscow and Baku continue to implement joint infrastructure projects. "In particular, the North-South International Transport Corridor is being set up - the project involving Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia is aimed at bringing European and Asian markets closer together," Putin said.