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Meeting with President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev

January 11, 2021, The Kremlin, Moscow

Vladimir Putin met in the Kremlin with President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.

President of Russian Vladimir Putin: Mr President,

I would like to welcome you in Moscow and thank you once again for accepting the invitation to come to the Russian capital.

Of course, the serious situation and difficult developments in Nagorno-Karabakh were the most important events of the past year. But I would like to express satisfaction with the fact that we still managed to stop the hostilities, the bloodshed. And, as we have just said regarding our work today, the peacekeeping mission is fulfilling its function and the situation in general is gradually coming back to normal. I believe it is very important that today we worked out a joint statement based on a striving to settle the situation for the long-term.

But beyond the events linked with the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement, we also have a bilateral agenda. In this context, I would like to note once again and to express gratitude to you for our joint efforts to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. This was a momentous event for our countries, for all countries in the post-Soviet space, because we were fighting for the freedom and independence of our common homeland.

Today, relations between Russia and Azerbaijan are making steady headway. This primarily concerns the economic component. We have many areas of cooperation and many similar interests in the economy.

I am hoping that overall our efforts to settle the situation in the South Caucasus will also be useful for our bilateral ties, as I have mentioned. I believe this settlement will help us promote our relations and make them even more consistent not only in the economy but also in the humanitarian field.

I would like to thank you again for being in Moscow today.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev: Thank you, Mr President.

It is always a pleasure to be in the Russian capital, and I would like to once again express my gratitude for the invitation and the initiative to hold this trilateral meeting. It was very practical, and I think productive because we were able to sign a Statement following the meeting.

This is the second statement we have signed, two months after the war ended, which in essence draws a line under last year’s developments.

The Statement aims to create a new situation in our region, to unblock transportation lines. This is critical because it allows Azerbaijan to have transport links to the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic through Armenia after more than three decades. And Armenia will have railway access to Russia and Iran via Azerbaijan. We will also have access to the Turkish market through the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic. In addition, Russian and Turkish railway lines can be linked. This Statement opens up tremendous opportunities.

I know that the working group we have set up today will operate effectively and will regularly report to us on the progress of these projects. There are several projects there, not just one. I am sure they will all be implemented.

I would like to thank you once again for your personal involvement in stopping the hostilities and signing the November 9 Statement. I think that you as the leader of Russia and as Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s neighbour have once again displayed willpower, determination and wisdom. Today’s meeting, at your initiative, is further proof of how much you focus on this issue. Naturally, this makes us happy because any positive developments in the region largely depend on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict being settled, and now the conflict is already history. New potential is opening up which we could not have imagined before.

As for bilateral relations, the trade decrease was not really significant despite the difficult pandemic-related year. I am sure that we will make up for that this year. The agenda is long and broad, including in the economy. Politically, Azerbaijan and Russia have long been strategic partners, and Russia’s involvement in stopping the war and in the peacekeeping mission shows that these are indeed long-term relations of strategic partnership that are maintaining ongoing progress.

You noted cultural cooperation between our countries. This has always been marked by sincerity, efficacy and targeting specific results. We are committed to efficient cooperation in all other areas this year and in the years to follow.

Meanwhile, the situation between Armenia and Azerbaijan that had been evolving for many years has finally been resolved, and I am confident that the Armenian side will make no attempts to reconsider the November 9 Statement so that both nations can find the will and wisdom to think about the future and reconciliation.

Thank you once again for the invitation and for this initiative.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you.

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January 11, 2021, The Kremlin, Moscow