Hurriyet Daily News
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was expected to address economic and trade cooperation, mutual activity in the Caspian Sea and Tuesday’s deadly clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan in talks during a two-day visit to Baku set to begin Thursday.
The Russian president was expected to sign a border delimitation deal with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, during the visit, the Azeri-Press Agency, or APA, reported Thursday.
The deal will delimitate the part of land border which begins at the junction of the Russian, Azerbaijani and Georgian state borders and goes eastward until the Caspian Sea, Russian Presidential Aide Sergei Prikhodko said.
Prikhodko said the agreement would consider establishing a Russian-Azerbaijan intergovernmental commission to regulate the use of water resources from the Samur River on a parity basis.
“These documents will be a basis for the further development of the strategic partnership relations between the countries and will contribute to the security and stability in the Caucasus,” he said.
The two presidents will discuss mutual activity on the oil- and gas-rich inland Caspian Sea, which has been a source of long-running disagreements between the five littoral states – Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan – since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Prikhodko said, according to APA.
The issues of mutual activity on the Caspian Sea, exploration of natural resources, protection of the environment, cooperation between the boundary regions, oil and gas cooperation, as well as mutual industrial investment activities, will be discussed, he said.
He said economic and trade cooperation would also be on the agenda during the visit.
Russian-Azerbaijan trade turnover was $1.78 billion in 2009.
Tensions in Nagorno-Karabakh
The Russian president is also set to address the conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh amid the heightened tensions between Azerbaijan and neighboring Armenia following Tuesday’s deadly clashes, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, RFE/RL, reported Thursday.
According to the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry, three Armenians and two Azerbaijani soldiers were killed during fighting in the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, an Azerbaijani territory under Armenian occupation. A resolution on the region that Azerbaijan wants passed by the U.N. General Assembly is due to be considered next week. It reportedly would uphold Azerbaijan's territorial integrity of Nagorno-Karabakh and the right of Azerbaijanis "expelled" from the Azerbaijani region and Armenian-controlled territories surrounding it to return to their homes, RFE/RL said.
A Kremlin source told Russian news agency RIA Novosti that the two heads of state would also discuss military cooperation but did not elaborate on the issue. However, it was recently announced that Azerbaijan would buy four Russian Ka-32 helicopters, used in utility cargo work and firefighting.
Medvedev is accompanied by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and the heads of numerous Russian regions, including Dagestan and Ingushetia, as well as Russian business representatives.
Meanwhile, Russia’s largest energy company Gazprom and Azerbaijan's state oil and gas company, SOCAR, were expected to sign an accord to increase supplies of Azerbaijani gas to Russia in 2011-2012 during the Russian president's visit to Baku on Thursday.
Gazprom CEO Miller said in mid-June that Gazprom is prepared to "buy as much gas as Azerbaijan is ready to deliver."
"As part of the [Russian president's] visit, an additional agreement to the contract on increasing natural gas supplies in 2011-2012 will be signed," Prikhodko said Wednesday, RIA Novosti reported.
Deliveries of Azerbaijani gas began on Jan. 1 after Azerbaijan's SOCAR signed a contract with Gazprom in October 2009 to deliver 500 million cubic meters of gas annually through 2015, with the option of renewing the contract in the future.
Later the companies agreed to double gas deliveries to Russia, bringing the total amount of gas delivery from Azerbaijan to 1 billion cubic meters. The companies will again double that amount to 2 million cubic meters in 2011.
Azerbaijan's gas reaches Russia through its Baku-Novo-Filya gas pipeline along the Caspian Sea to Russia's North Caucasus republics.
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