The meeting took place during Mikhail Mishustin’s working visit to the Republic of Azerbaijan
Excerpts from the transcript:
Ilham Aliyev: Mr Mishustin, distinguished guests,
I am delighted to welcome you to Azerbaijan. We have met earlier this year when we coordinated your visit. I am glad that you have made time to visit Azerbaijan.
Yesterday you met with our prime minister. As far as I now, you discussed a very broad range of essential issues concerning our relationship.
At the beginning of the year, President Vladimir Putin and I set the tone and new pace of our relations, and we have met several times during the year. Yesterday we spoke on the phone about important issues on our bilateral agenda. You can say that the presidents set the tone of the entire range of our relations, and the relevant agencies are acting accordingly.
We are glad that the volume of our mutual trade is returning to the pre-pandemic level. I am confident that we will keep up the pace, because the issues we are discussing today, including within the framework of your visit, will help build up the potential of our mutual trade.
We also see that freight transportation is growing rapidly. I believe that we are approaching a record figure when it comes to freight – around 50 or 60 percent, with a good growth outlook.
We will increase the potential of our cooperation in transit and logistics infrastructure, primarily on a bilateral basis and also with the involvement of neighbouring countries, because Russia and Azerbaijan have been investing considerably in this area over many years.
Of course, strengthening the potential of transport corridors, first of all the North-South route, will be in the interests of all countries involved and will offer new opportunities, including for business.
I looked at the statistics before your visit, and I was happy to find out that the number of flights is growing rapidly. There are over 130 flights a week, which means that we have almost reached a historic high in this respect. The number of Russian tourists is growing as well; it has increased by about 80 percent this year. Of course, this number slumped because of the pandemic, and we have not yet reached the pre-pandemic figure, but I think we will do it. I believe that the number of flights will continue to grow in the context of close, friendly relations between our countries, the Declaration on Allied Cooperation we signed this year and numerous demonstrations of our allied relationship this year, as well as our plans to substantially expand the agenda of our trade and economic cooperation.
I know that an interregional forum was held successfully yesterday, which is another important element of our bilateral cooperation. We maintain close ties with about 80 constituent entities of the Russian Federation. I am sure that new objectives were set at yesterday’s forum, just as during the forums held in previous years.
In other words, we have a broad agenda. We are working actively under seven roadmaps. I am confident that by showing good results this year we will set a similar tone for next year as well.
Once again, welcome to Azerbaijan.
Mikhail Mishustin: Thank you, Mr President. First, I would like to thank you for inviting me to Azerbaijan. I am honoured to do this in the capacity of Prime Minister of Russia.
I would also like to express gratitude to you, Prime Minister Asadov, and your whole team for giving such a hospitable welcome to our delegation. Our large delegation includes the governors of the four main regions that are closely cooperating with Azerbaijan.
I would like to use this opportunity to congratulate you on your national holiday, National Revival Day, which you celebrated yesterday, and to convey heartfelt regards from President of Russia Vladimir Putin. You mentioned that you spoke with him yesterday.
The Government is working hard to implement the decisions made by you, our presidents.
Ali Asadov and I attended the 11th Interregional Forum yesterday, during which almost all issues on our bilateral agenda were discussed. Priority attention was given to energy, industry, transport, culture and humanitarian issues. Following our talks, we signed a number of agreements to boost our cooperation in various spheres.
Transport is a particularly important, special sphere. We believe that joint infrastructure and logistics projects will become a new engine for boosting our cooperation in all spheres. I would like to mention the western route of the North-South International Transport Corridor. We plan to increase transportation via it to 15 million tonnes a year by 2030.
We traditionally emphasise cultural and people-to-people ties. This year we marked the 30th anniversary of our diplomatic relations. We have held a series of celebratory events for this occasion. Next year, we will mark the 100th birth anniversary of your father, Heydar Aliyev, an outstanding Soviet and Azerbaijani statesman.
We noted yesterday that the branches of Moscow State University and Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University were working successfully in Baku. Also, over 11,000 students from Azerbaijan are studying in Russia. These direct person-to-person contacts and learning more about each other’s rich history, culture and traditions will contribute to strengthening ties between our countries.