"We attach great importance to the development of Ukrainian-Azerbaijani relations. During the negotiations today, both in a one-on-one format and with the participation of delegations, various aspects of Ukrainian-Azerbaijani bilateral relations were widely discussed and a very fruitful exchange of views took place," President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said in a press statement following the meeting with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, APA reports.
"Our political ties are at a high level. This is confirmed by the President’s official visit to Azerbaijan. Today we talked about the upcoming steps aimed at increasing trade. True, this year our turnover grew by almost 20 percent, but we can’t be pleased with absolute figures, and specific issues related to further cooperation were discussed today.
I am sure that the Ukrainian-Azerbaijani business forum, which will take place a little later today, will be a very important step in the economic sphere, in the field of joint activities of business circles. This business forum is of great interest to business circles of both Ukraine and Azerbaijan. I am sure that specific issues will be discussed.
Naturally, a lot depends on the activities of the Ukrainian-Azerbaijani bilateral intergovernmental commission. Unfortunately, over the past few years, the commission practically did not operate. However, by a joint decision, we are giving a new impetus to the commission. We agreed that the commission would meet next month and the instructions issued by the presidents would be discussed in detail.
Along with an increase in turnover, joint investment projects are of great interest. We had a wide exchange of opinions about this. There are specific proposals regarding both Ukraine’s investments in Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan’s investments in Ukraine. I believe that these proposals may be implemented. Joint investment projects in many areas will further strengthen our cooperation.
Energy cooperation has been discussed as well. SOCAR has been operating in Ukraine for many years, has more than 60 gas stations and four oil terminals. Discussing this issue again today, we agreed that SOCAR would expand its activities in Ukraine and take specific steps.
In previous years, cooperation was carried out in the agricultural sector. We have purchased more than 400 units of agricultural machinery in Ukraine and want to continue this cooperation.
Another important issue, and we spent a lot of time on this issue today, is the development of tourism. Both Azerbaijan and Ukraine have ample tourist opportunities. Cooperation, exchange of experience and joint projects in this area have been discussed, a broad exchange of views has taken place and specific instructions have been given.
Both Ukraine and Azerbaijan have modern transport logistics and infrastructure. The Caspian and Black Sea transport corridors operate with the participation of our countries. I informed the President that very large investments had been made in this sector in Azerbaijan in recent years. The East-West and North-South transport corridors passing through the territory of Azerbaijan are already contributing to international cooperation and ushering opportunities for cooperation. Therefore, the East-West transport corridor, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, the Viking project, implemented in this area – all these projects will further strengthen our countries and, in a broader sense, regional cooperation. They will benefit our countries.
Of course, we have also paid attention to humanitarian cooperation. Azerbaijan has great respect for Ukrainian culture. The Ukrainian language is being studied. Baku Slavic University has a Ukrainian center. At the same time, a fairly large place is allocated in higher educational institutions of Ukraine to the history and literature of Azerbaijan. Naturally, humanitarian cooperation has a positive effect on overall cooperation.
Of course, in this statement for the media we cannot list all the issues discussed because it will take a long time. But I can say that although the visit is still ongoing, it can already be assessed as very successful in general. I am sure that it will open a new page in the development of Ukrainian-Azerbaijani relations. We discussed specific issues and gave specific instructions. I hope that these instructions will be successfully implemented by relevant bodies," Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said.