In 2023, the trade turnover between Russia and Azerbaijan reached 4.4 billion dollars up 17% . Western sanctions have brought the relations between the two countries even closer. The 17% growth is not re-export of something through Azerbaijan, but major projects. This was stated by Russian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Mikhail Yevdokimov in an interview with Moscow’s “Izvestia”.
In particular, he named opening of “KAMAZ” service centre and supply of 35 cars for Baku underground. There are also projects on electric buses and trams, organisation of their assembly and maintenance in Azerbaijan. This is profound industrial co-operation.
Note that cargo deliveries between Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkey are expected to be realised this year. In particular, on the railway Russia-Azerbaijan-Iran and Russia-Azerbaijan, Iran, Nakhchivan and Turkey, the volumes of transportations will make up 30 million tonnes per year, the Ambassador said.
The issue of joint construction of ships on the Caspian Sea and establishment of Russian enterprises for production of construction materials in Azerbaijan for restoration of territories in Karabakh is being discussed. Baku allocates up to $36bn for this and Russian companies are interested in supplying materials and services.
Touching upon the topic of Armenian-Azerbaijani settlement, the diplomat noted that the Karabakh issue is “closed”, but Russia is ready to provide maximum support in negotiations on a peace treaty between the two countries.
“What the Azerbaijani side is proposing is, in my opinion, absolutely justified, standard formulations and articles that, as a rule, exist in peace treaties between the parties. And, in principle, based on the proposals made by Baku, it seems to me, it is possible to finalise these negotiations quite quickly,” the ambassador said.
An issue of transport corridor from the main part of Azerbaijan to Nakhchivan is very important for Azerbaijan. It is the availability of a stable transport link with Nakhchivan. For Azerbaijan, the safety of the route (it is about 46 kilometres) is not an abstract topic.
“The Russian Federation was ready to restore this route quite quickly at its own expense. For various reasons, not very clear to me, the Armenian side is delaying the negotiations,” the diplomat noted.
Therefore, Baku and Tehran signed an agreement on the construction of a railway through Iran. This is also a route to Turkey. It is also important to build a railway from Turkey to Nakhchivan. “We will get an opportunity to bring cargo to Turkey from Russia via Azerbaijan, Iran and Nakhchivan,” the Ambassador emphasised.
When asked about the fate of Russian peacekeepers in Karabakh, the diplomat said that “after the completion of the counter-terrorist operation, Russian peacekeepers together with Azerbaijani forces patrol the territory, guard buildings and cultural facilities.
At present, the dates of the next round of negotiations between Moscow and Baku on our peacekeeping contingent are being agreed with the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, the terms of its stay expire in 2025,” the Russian Ambassador said.