Azeri-Russian relations peak
“The visit President Putin paid to Azerbaijan and my return visit, as well as negotiations held and documents signed, have elevated Russian-Azeri relations to a very high level over the past ten years, which is consistent with our national interests”, President Aliyev told the press at the Bina Airport of Baku on his arrival from the Russian visit Saturday. The President said he was content with the trip. As, first of all, the parties focused on mutually interesting issues and the situation in the Caucasus and, secondly, signed important documents, including the agreement on the principles of developing bilateral commercial and economic relations till 2010, the Azeri Presient underscored.
Commenting on the agreement on the status of the Gabala Radio Location Station, the head of state said Azerbaijan would get $7 a year for Russia’s operation of the trucking station and extra $31 million as its backlog for the station since 1997. Russia will repay the arrears step-by-step, paying off $6.2 million a year. “1300 Azeri nationals are working in the station and getting high salaries”, the President said.
On the negotiations with the Russian leader on the status of the Caspian, President Aliyev said there had been some progress. Recalling the agreements Azerbaijan has signed with Russia and Kazakhstan on the use of the Caspian seabed, the President said he had reached accord to launch bilateral talks on determination of a median line in the Sea. Russia already has a similar agreement with Kazakhstan, he said. “I hope other Caspian nations continue negotiating so that we will achieve agreement based on international legal norms”, the President said.
President Aliyev indicated he was trying to convince President Putin that Russia may show more efforts in the resolution of the Garabagh conflict and the Azeri public relies on Russia to play a key role in the settlement.
On the advantage the suspension of Section 907 is believed to give Azerbaijan, President Aliyev said that the section was once of economic value when Azerbaijan needed help, while it now is politically motivated.
Touching upon the recent resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on the alleged political prisoners in Azerbaijan, the Azeri President said: “This is not a tragedy and shouldn’t be worried about”.*