Baku, July 14, AZERTAC
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko have made statements for the press following the ceremony of signing Azerbaijani-Ukrainian documents.
Statement by President Ilham Aliyev
- Dear Mr. President!
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen!
Dear Mr. President, let me once again cordially welcome you to Azerbaijan. Welcome to our country! We attach great importance to your visit. This is your first visit to Azerbaijan, and I am glad that it has been very successful. The negotiations held today and the documents signed once again confirm this.
We met in Davos earlier this year. That meeting was of great importance, because it was followed by important steps aimed at developing Ukrainian-Azerbaijani relations. After that, high-level delegations started coming to Azerbaijan from Ukraine. Earlier this month, a meeting of the intergovernmental commission was held and today you are paying an official visit to Azerbaijan.
Taking this opportunity, I want to thank you for accepting our invitation to come to Azerbaijan.
Today, both in the one-on-one meeting and at the Council of Presidents, we extensively discussed the various aspects of Ukrainian-Azerbaijani relations and identified steps for future joint activities. The Council's agenda was very broad. We discussed many important issues – energy, transport, military and technical cooperation, political relations and our interaction in international organizations. We can say that very serious instructions were given in respect of all the issues discussed. I am confident that as a result of execution of these orders, our countries will become even closer to each other and the turnover will increase. At the moment, neither us nor the Ukrainian side is pleased with the turnover.
We have extensively discussed the development of political relations. We successfully cooperate and support each other in many international organizations. We will continue to deepen our cooperation in these organizations, in particular the UN, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and other organizations.
With regard to economic issues, there is a great potential in this area. There are opportunities for the expansion of trade. We have agreed that Azerbaijan will pay attention to Ukrainian companies in the delivery of imported goods to our country. At the same time, Azerbaijan already has broad export opportunities, and the Ukrainian market is quite large and very interesting for us. Specific instructions have been issued.
We intend to implement joint investment projects and have given appropriate instructions on studying the investment opportunities of both countries, because there is a great interest in that.
In the energy sector, it was noted that the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan, SOCAR, is already active in Ukraine, has invested more than $200 million and has 60 petrol stations there. SOCAR activities in Ukraine are very successful and it unites our countries even more.
At the same time, appropriate instructions have been given in connection with the revival of the Odessa-Brody pipeline, which is actively discussed now. Azerbaijan exports large volumes of its oil to world markets, including Europe, also playing a transit role for countries located on the east coast of the Caspian Sea. From Azerbaijan, oil is exported to world markets, and I believe that there are ample opportunities for the revival of the Odessa-Brody pipeline project.
In general, I believe that the format of cooperation involving the Caspian Sea, the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the Baltic Sea contains a great potential. Of course, the activity of transport corridors is also very important. The first pilot project has already been implemented. Some cargo from Ukraine has been transported to Central Asian countries through the territory of Azerbaijan. Today we decided that the need to review the tariffs in order to make this corridor more economically viable. After all, the tariffs should be acceptable for shippers, so that even larger volumes of cargo could go in both directions.
I have informed Mr. President that we will commission the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway in the near future. This road means a restoration of the Silk Road, and there are new opportunities for Ukrainian companies there. At the same time, Azerbaijan, together with partner countries, has made efforts to establish the North-South corridor. In the future, the Ukrainian side can use this railway as well. In short, there are great opportunities in the transport sector, and I am sure that the orders issued today will lead to good results.
We have also exchanged views on the establishment of joint industrial areas. This applies to the heavy industry as well. At the same time, there are opportunities for the development of the military-technical industry. Our cooperation in this area already has a wonderful experience, and these issues were also discussed.
Cooperation in the humanitarian sphere is of great importance. The Ukrainians living in Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijanis living in Ukraine, of course, play an important role in the development of bilateral ties. In addition, we have held a thorough exchange of views related to culture, education and the expansion of tourism opportunities.
I am very satisfied and pleased with the talks. They were very specific. Members of our delegations have provided information and reports on each specific project. I am sure that there will be concrete results on every issue discussed in the near future.
Overall, I have a good assessment for the meeting of the Council of Presidents and am sure that Ukrainian-Azerbaijani relations will continue to develop as planned in Baku today.
I want to note once again that President Poroshenko’s official visit to Azerbaijan is a very important and serious political step at the current stage of bilateral ties. I am confident that the excellent results of this visit will bring our states and the peoples of Azerbaijan and Ukraine closer together in the future.
Mr. President, once again, welcome to Azerbaijan and I wish you a nice visit.