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President Vladimir Putin answered the questions of Russian journalists

January 10, 2001, Baku

Addressing the journalists, Mr Putin said that the agreements were an important step towards a new stage in Russian-Azerbaijani relations. The most important aspect, he said, was to establish conditions for political and economic cooperation.

The President pointed out that it was possible to resolve the Karabakh conflict. Azerbaijani Government’s attitude and Armenia’s readiness were tangible signs of solving the conflict. Mr Putin rejected the opinion that Russia was interested in confrontation of these Transcaucasian states.

Speaking to journalist on the results of the Caspian Sea consultations, President Putin supported the idea of holding a summit of the five littoral countries, but at the same time he acknowledged that multilateral negotiations could lead to certain difficulties at the present moment. Owning to this, President Putin believes that it will be more efficient to address the issue of dividing the Caspian shelf on the basis of bilateral agreements. Mr Putin said Caspian agreements between Russia and Azerbaijan and Russia and Kazakhstan allowed the involvement of other participants.

January 10, 2001, Baku