Following the signature ceremony of documents between Azerbaijan and Ukraine, joint press conference of President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych was held in Kiyev.
Heads of state made statements in front of press.
Statement of the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych
- Dear Mister President,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Just now we finalized the meeting of the Council of Presidents of Azerbaijan and Ukraine. Prior to that meeting, our joint commission conducted significant work and prepared the relevant protocol for the current meeting. It is obvious that we had one task in front of us which is to have a meaningful meeting.
Traditions formed in long years of our bilateral relations continue and we know well each other with Ilham Aliyev since long time. We agreed that we will active strongly Ukrainian-Azerbaijani relations and make it more meaningful. We have extended significantly the list of issues in line with our effective co-operation and our national interests. This reflects wider spectrum of our commercial-economic co-operation, issues of interaction within international organizations and naturally, humanitarian ties stemming out from centuries between Ukrainian and Azerbaijani peoples.
As commercial-economic relations are concerned, I would allocate a particular place to the development of our relations in the field of fuel and energy. We have agreed to set up a joint task force. This working group will prepare a strategic agreement between our countries. This agreement will envisage significant increase of sales volume of energy resources from Azerbaijan to Ukraine. We will elaborate working mechanisms of this program. We do not exclude that this co-operation will cover also third countries, for example, Russia, Caspian littoral states.
Today, issues related to the diversification of energy resources take a very particular place on agenda. We think that Azerbaijan has very big prospective to increase oil and gas production and wish our friends to broaden this prospective as soon as possible.
Co-operation in the field of science based technologies is also one of issues put on the current agenda and we think that there are broad prospective for its development. In a single word, I would like to say that the year of 2010 is to finish soon and we can state with confidence that we will increase trade turnover between our countries not by percent, but by several times, and this is the result of bilateral work. Our purpose is not to limit ourselves by that task and continue this mutually beneficial work. For the time being, Ukraine holds the second place among trade partners of Azerbaijan. Of course, we want to improve this result. Therefore, I would like to say with great pleasure that we believe in that prospective and will obtain it.
Statement of the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev
Dear Viktor Fyodorovich, thank you very much for your comments. First of all, I would like to thank for inviting me to pay an official visit to the friendly and brotherly Ukraine and the hospitality extended on the soil of brotherly Ukraine to me and members of my delegation
Since long years, the joint work unites us with dear Viktor Fyodorovich. We know each other since long time. Our relations started long ago when we were prime ministers of our states. I am confident that the current level of relations between our countries and most importantly, development prospective of this relationship depend significantly on how close are the co-operation and communication between leaders of countries. I see that the prospective to enlarge full scale co-operation is very promising.
As noted by Viktor Fyodorovich, today, we conducted very constructive and comprehensive discussions on wider agenda of our relations and reaffirmed our commitment to the mutual political activities, political consultations, reciprocal support within international organizations, regional issues and in particular, integration policy issues in the basin of Caspian and Black seas. Our countries are at the forefront in the issue of fostering and enlarging transportation and energy corridor which unites Black Sea with Caspian Sea, and therefore, our countries participate actively in regional integration and regional co-operation processes.
Today, we discussed broadly issues related to fuel and energy industry. We are very pleased that we see already concrete results in this field and hope to widen co-operation both the fields of oil and gas. I am confident that diversification of energy, oil and gas transportation routes depend on wider regional co-operation related to strengthening energy security measures both for producers and consumers, and how effective and fruitful is our co-operation in this field. While speaking about energy security sometimes, one envisages mainly countries consuming energy resources. But, producing countries need also energy security, long term contracts and predictable markets, and these countries can form their long term investment policy.
We are also delighted that trade turnover between our countries is increasing and broadening. Growth potential is very promising. I think that in this respect, the year of 2010 will remain as a turning year in the history of our relations. As noted by Viktor Fyodorvich, increase of our trade turnover not by percent, but by several times becomes already a reality of our relations.
Today, we reviewed broadly the industrial sector, trade and humanitarian co-operation as well as the co-operation in the field of military and airspace industries. We have to co-operate more actively and use to the maximum extent the potential of our economies, enterprises to bring concrete content to our activities. I would like to reiterate that there all prerequisites for that purpose such as personal relations of leaders as well as constructive working relations between members of our delegations as we observed it today. Political relations are at high level. The most important thing is to work actively in all directions and have a wish to co-operate. I am confident that as much information about mutual opportunities will be circulated between our businesses as speedier will increase our trade turnover, and we can improve its structure to avoid making it to be one sided and based only on energy resources. As noted by Viktor Fyodorovich we are also very pleased that Ukraine holds the second place in trade turnover among CIS countries.
It is obvious that without humanitarian co-operation our relations will never be fully meaningful and we have the right to be proud also by these issues. Relations between our peoples have the rich history. Since our countries obtained independence, particular friendly relations existed between them at all times. Today, these relations are considered as the relations of strategic partnership. We are very pleased that a particular care is extended to our cultures and languages in our countries. Ukrainian language is being studied in Azerbaijan, and a strict attention is paid to the development of these positive processes. Monuments to great son of Ukraine, Taras Shevchenko and Lesya Ukrainka have been erected in Azerbaijan. Monument to Heydar Aliyev was erected in Ukraine. Today, I was informed that the City Council of Kiev adopted the decision on assigning the name of Heydar Aliyev to the park located around his monument. I would like to express once again my gratitude on behalf of Azerbaijani people, first of all, to the President of Ukraine, as well as all those who adopted this decision for such respectful attitude to the memory of the founder of modern Azerbaijani state.
All these moments are very important because it fosters further our relations and brings us even closer. Ukraine is a friendly and brotherly country for us, and I am confident that the future of relations will evolve indeed in that context. I would like to thank once again to hosting side, dear Viktor Fyodorovich for this hospitality. Here in front of journalists, I would like to invite officially Viktor Fyodorovich to pay an official visit to Azerbaijan at any convenient time to ensure permanent character of our ties and see each other often times. Thank you.
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Afterwards, Presidents took up questions from journalists
- Good day, Mister Presidents. You touched upon co-operation issues in the field of energy. Since what time is it expected to have the increase of volume in oil sales from Azerbaijan to Ukraine as well as oil transit to Europe and Russia? What volumes concretely we are talking about? Thank you very much.
Ilham ALIYEV: We have already increased oil sales to Ukraine and in general, this factor played a primary role in increasing our trade turnover in comparison with previous year. Today, according to the information reported to us in the Presidents’ Council, over one million ton of Azerbaijani oil was sent to Ukrainian market though the current year is not finished yet. In the future, we intend to increase sales volume because we plan to increase oil production volume in Azerbaijan. In the good run, oil from neighboring countries located on eastern side of the Caspian can be transported to the markets of Ukraine and this project will create conditions for closer integration between countries of Black and Caspian regions. I have spoken about that already. Therefore, we will create another very reliable energy corridor that will link energy rich Caspian Sea with markets in Ukraine and Europe. This will be a large scale co-operation which will be beneficial to all in the field of energy. I think that this co-operation of oil supplies should play a leading role in developing all structure of relations in the field of fuel and energy between our countries. Projects related to other fields of energy issues will depend on how successful the co-operation is. By the way, these projects were the subject of our today’s broad discussion. To say it in other words, I thin that the year of 2010 was a turning point in this context, and we think that it is a good beginning of long term co-operation.
Viktor YANUKOVYCH: I would like to add some comments to what has been said by Ilham Heydarovich. It is very important for Ukraine to buy crude oil for our oil refineries and ensure them running by gaining additional value and opening new jobs. This is of paramount important both for Ukrainian economy and social sphere. Only the smallest part of oil products bought by the request of Ukraine is consisted of light oil products. All our following steps will be aimed at filling Odessa-Brody pipeline with oil and run it in obverse regime. We believe that this program will create conditions to increase significantly not only oil, but also energy products sales.
- My question is for both Presidents. How do you see the prospective of reciprocal investments between Azerbaijan and Ukraine?
Viktor YANUKOVYCH: I will give a very brief answer – our joint projects envisage allocating investment resources from both sides. In other words, we treat these issues as partners and adopt joint decisions in any specific case. No doubt, we are very interested to support first of all our local producers in our investment projects. This is our goal. The structure of economies of our countries enable us not to compete, but to complement each other.
Ilham ALIYEV: I do agree with comments of Viktor Fyodorovich. It is true that our economies do not compete, but complement each other. At the same time, high level of political relations between our countries is an important factor in promoting reciprocal investments. Both public and private sector investors are very sensitive to the political situation at all times and when they see the long term strong political relations they pay obviously their attention to such factors as favorable political environment. This demonstrates another factor.
Another factor is the creation of a very favorable environment for foreign investors both in Ukraine and Azerbaijan. I am confident that the political support extended to these investments projects will stimulate more companies to regard Ukraine and Azerbaijan as a strategic location for making investments. I am very pleased that the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan – SOCAR has started already this process. During short period of time almost 80 million dollars have been invested in Ukraine. These are our first steps. We intend to increase the volume of our investments. I am confident that investments will increase by several times only in the framework initiatives and projects being implemented already. As we talked with Viktor Fyodorovich some time ago, if we will consider our plans related to fuel-energy and oil-gas sector’s large scale co-operation, it would be possible to imagine how swift will be the increase of these investments.
Today, there are heads of ministries responsible for industry, economy and ICT issues in our delegation. We should not forget also these fields, and even on the contrary, we should pay more attention to it because we are interested in even sectoral distribution of investments from one country to another. The most important is such investments should be made in accordance with plans existing in our countries. It should be in line with existing economic and investments programs of our countries, and not against it. Investments should be helpful in solving many social issues, opening jobs and creating national production enterprises. Therefore, we are optimistic about this prospective and I am confident that we will see its good results in nearest future.