Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 4
By Matanat Nasibova - Trend:
The Sochi meeting of Presidents Vladimir Putin and Ilham Aliyev has confirmed that Azerbaijan and Russia seek closer economic cooperation and continue to strengthen their cooperation in all areas of the economy, Russian analyst of the Center for Political Information Ivan Pyatibratov told Trend.
The expert noted that the North-South route is the key joint economic project, which will allow Azerbaijani goods to enter the European market, as well as will increase the significance of Azerbaijan as a major trade and transport hub.
For Russia, in turn, this project will contribute to strengthening of its positions in the south, as well as will serve as a means of diversification of sales markets, he said.
"In addition, the agreements concluded between Russian and Azerbaijani oil and gas companies are also important. For instance, the joint development of the "Goshadash" block of fields and the bottom of the Caspian Sea by "Rosneft" and SOCAR companies has been agreed upon. This project, of course, is economically beneficial, but at the same time, it also has a political implication, as any interaction in the sphere of energy resources indicates a closer rapprochement of the countries," Pyatibratov said.
"The same is true of the nature of the agreement on the development of the production of GAZ vehicles in Azerbaijan: the demand for Russian cars abroad is an important image-building moment for Russia, which means that the countries interact under not only economically, but also politically motivated contracts," the analyst said.
Pyatibratov believes that the Memorandum signed between the Russian Federal Corporation for the Development of Small and Medium-sized Businesses and the Azerbaijan Agency for the Development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises is also of interest.
"At first glance, this document may seem quite ordinary, but in fact it is about creating new horizontal ties between Russian and Azerbaijani business sectors, which could potentially lead to the formation of a new platform for lobbying the interests of small and medium-sized businesses. Thus, we see a constant and purposeful rapprochement between Russia and Azerbaijan in the economic sphere," he noted.
Pyatibratov also touched upon the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
"Russia will continue its mediation mission within the OSCE Minsk Group, a peaceful solution to the conflict is necessary for preservation of the stability and security in the region. At the same time, it is important for the full integration of our economies, as well as for the further successful and multifaceted cooperation between Azerbaijan and Russia," he said.
On September 1, during the visit of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to Russia, 15 documents were signed, which cover the issues of Azerbaijani-Russian cooperation in such areas as energy, economy, sports, tourism and others.