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President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev held meeting with Prime Minister of Russia VIDEO

Baku, March 6, AZERTAC

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has held a meeting with Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Mikhail Mishustin.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister of Russia Mikhail Mishustin first posed together for photographs.

Welcoming the meeting participants, President Ilham Aliyev said:

- Dear Mikhail Vladimirovich.

Dear guests.

Welcome. I'm glad to see you again in Azerbaijan. I know that yesterday's meeting with your colleague was very productive. He briefed me in the morning on the positive outcomes and our future plans. We have successfully completed the year. Our bilateral interaction is developing as intended. For just over two years, we have been collaborating within the framework of allied interaction, and all the tasks set for strengthening cooperation have been successfully accomplished.

Regarding the trade and economic sphere, I also consider the results quite satisfactory, with a growth of more than 17 percent. I think it's a good indicator. We are already approaching the $4.5 billion mark. But naturally, this is not the limit. I am confident that within the framework of the agreements reached during the visit, next year, and by the end of this year, we will see even greater growth in bilateral trade.

I'm glad that industrial cooperation projects are being implemented. This is a relatively new area of our cooperation. Russian companies in Azerbaijan are establishing new manufacturing facilities, service centers, and all of this also contributes to more comprehensive cooperation in the industrial sector.

In agriculture - I reviewed the materials before your visit - we complement each other. What we need, we acquire from you and vice versa. We are also pleased that the significant growth in the supply of Azerbaijani agricultural products to the Russian market, as we agreed, continues successfully.

And, of course, the transportation and logistics sphere, which you talked about a lot yesterday, and relevant documents were signed. Here, too, we see growth in transit shipments and bilateral cargo transportation. The International North-South Transport Corridor is a project that unites our countries.

And as you know, we are actively collaborating on implementing all necessary matters. As we know, infrastructure exists on Azerbaijani and Russian territory, however, it requires modernization to transport volumes of cargo larger than planned.

And, of course, the humanitarian sphere. Here, I believe that the relationship between Russia and Azerbaijan can serve as an example of relations between two neighboring friendly states. In 26 Azerbaijani universities, teaching is conducted in Russian, with over 16,000 students, citizens of Azerbaijan, being educated in Russian. 324 secondary schools also provide education in Russian language. We have preserved all the good that has united our peoples for decades, and regardless of the socio-political formation in which we interacted, friendly relations between our peoples have always been the foundation of intergovernmental relations. And today, as intergovernmental relations have reached a qualitatively new level both in form and content, it is naturally supported by the public of our countries as well. So I am confident that, like last year, we will conclude this year with positive results. Our allied interaction, which is also an important factor for regional stability and security, will strengthen for the benefit of our countries and peoples.

Once again, I welcome you and must now wish you a safe journey as your visit concludes. And, of course, I believe it would be beneficial to have regular meetings at the level of heads of government, following the example of regular meetings between heads of state.

x x x

Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Mikhail Mishustin said:

- Dear Ilham Heydarovich.

Dear friends.

Firstly, allow me to extend my heartfelt congratulations on your resounding victory in the early presidential election in Azerbaijan, held on February 7th. This is a high appraisal by the Azerbaijani people of the efforts and accomplishments achieved under your leadership in your country. And of course, I would like to seize this opportunity to convey the warmest and best wishes from President of Russia, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.

We maintain constant communication and meet regularly with Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Ali Hidayatovich Asadov. We have recently met in Moscow during the Commonwealth of Independent States Forum in December, and prior to that, we convened in Sochi. I seem to have visited Azerbaijan just recently. But I want to assure you that all the decisions made between the leaders of our states are closely monitored and executed by our respective governments.

Yesterday, we discussed a wide range of bilateral issues. You mentioned several areas, and there are increasingly more projects in industry. We are also considering a joint project in the field of transportation engineering. There are also promising directions for large-scale mutual technological and innovative projects. We are working on agriculture. You mentioned the additions. We also have a number of questions regarding pharmaceuticals. Yesterday, we agreed to ramp up work in this area as well. Essentially, the entire range of our mutual projects is under our control today. And this is evidenced by the figures of mutual trade and economic turnover. You mentioned a growth of 17 percent. That's exactly it.

I also want to state that the transit capacities at our border crossings have increased fivefold. This is also a significant systemic work that was carried out by our Ministry of Transport jointly with our respected colleagues from Azerbaijan. We continue to pursue all relevant logistics projects here as well. You mentioned the North-South corridor, and indeed, the transportation of 30 million tons represents a substantial volume. There is still much work to be done to address bottlenecks along the route.

I also want to express with great respect that we organized a memorable event dedicated to the centenary of the birth of your father, esteemed Heydar Aliyevich Aliyev. In Russia, he is remembered and his memory is honored.

Regarding cultural exchange and issues related to interaction here, there are numerous projects and ideas. Today, I visited the Russian Drama Theater, where discussions on cultural cooperation took place. We agreed to expand our contacts, including with the Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan. We are working on a Roadmap for conducting a large number of events. And of course, we will be happy to see respected figures from Azerbaijan's cultural and artistic community in Russia, in Moscow.

I extend my gratitude to You and colleagues for the warm and traditionally hospitable reception provided to the Russian delegation.

President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you.

x x x

The head of state expressed gratitude for the Russian President`s sincere and best wishes and requested Mikhail Mishustin to extend his warm regards to Vladimir Putin.

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