"I would like to agree with your high assessment of the outcome of the year ending in terms of the development of relations between Azerbaijan and Russia. I should note with satisfaction that these relations demonstrate stability and dynamism from year to year. This year, which is nearing completion, this positive dynamics has also been developed," Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov said while answering media questions following the results of 2019, ONA reports.
"Of course, close contacts and trustworthy dialogue at the level of senior political leadership, which you mentioned in your question, continue to play a decisive role. This creates a favorable framework for the further development of strategic partnership, covering the entire spectrum of our relations from political interaction to trade, economic and humanitarian cooperation.
As you know, the development of our ties is target oriented and programmatic. The measures are provided for by the so-called “road maps” in specific areas, six of which were signed during the last year’s official visit of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev to the Russian Federation, and two - on the results of the eighteenth meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation held in December this year in Baku. Preliminary estimates suggest that the trade turnover between our countries in 2019 will reach the level of about 3 billion US dollars.
A positive trend in 2019 was the continued growth of tourist flow from Russia, which approached the mark of one million people. This is a very impressive indicator, and it pleases us, as it is a clear confirmation of the intensity of human contacts. And, of course, this suggests that Russians feel comfortable in Azerbaijan, where they are greeted with a warm welcome and take advantage of the absence of a language barrier.
We expect that all these positive trends will continue in the coming year. I hope that the continuation of the practice of exchanging mutual visits at the level of foreign Ministers, which I find very useful, will be able to contribute to this process.
Of course, we have particular hopes for intensifying the negotiation process to resolve the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict through the mediation of the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, one of which is the Russian Federation. We believe that the interests of peace and stability in the region dictate the need for the speediest achievement of tangible political results. We believe that Russia is able to play one of the key roles in starting to unravel the conflict node.
So, in general, we look to the future with optimism and for our part are determined to act towards the realization of the strategic goals of our development," Azerbaijani Foreign Minister said.