Analysis Materials 11 October 2006 12:02 (UTC +04:00)

Late last week the Russian Minister for Economic Development and Trade, German Gref, visited Azerbaijan. The visit coincided to the period of deterioration of the Georgian-Russian relationships. The Azerbaijani pblic was very much interested in Russian senior official's attitude on the issue.

The Russian and Georgian economy would benefit greatly by the establishment of positive relations, the Russian Minister stressed. We very much regret the current situation.

In addition, Gref believes that the current situation between the two countries does not influence the Russian economy greatly due to Georgia's small share in the trade turnover of the Russian Federation.

In the opposite, Russia is will with pleasure see the Azerbaijani companies in Russia. I know that now several investment projects in Russia are under consideration. Banks, another sector that can be encouraged in Russia is agriculture and power engineering

Our key task is to transit maximally favorable terms for business. Simplification of procedures on delivery of agriculture products to Russia will be done and it is necessary to reveal the impeding terms and are ready to remove these problems. These are issues that are on agenda, but new project will be born from the frequency of contacts, Gref underscored

A business centre has already constructed in a Russian free special area, and first buildings are expected to be opened in 2007.

Having familiarized with investment programs of the Russian Government, Mr. Gref called upon the private sector to participate at the projects financed by the investment and venture funds. The Russian Government is expected to invest 3 b. Roubles to infrastructure projects. According to the financing conditions, not less that 25 percent of the deposit of the private capital to the project, the bother 75 percent are the share holding of the Government at the expense of the fund. According to the Russian Minister, such projects like constructions of tunnels, road-building projects have already been selected.

Thus, there are attractive relationships between the two countries and organization of regular systematic mutual relationships between Azerbaijan and Russia is necessary. Moreover, in difference to Russia the leadership of Azerbaijan is positively tuned for radical changes in the Azerbaijani-Russian economic relationships.