Aliyev's visit to Russia: A new phase of economic rapprochement - OPINION

Editor's note: Igor Yushkov – lead analyst at the National energy security fund, expert at the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation. 

The official visit of Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev to Russia has opened a wide range of discussions, among which economic interaction is a key focus. We are witnessing an increase in trade turnover between Russia and the countries of the near abroad, particularly with the states of the former Soviet Union, which revitalizes lost contacts and opens new opportunities for all parties. This process is particularly significant in the context of current economic sanctions from Western countries, encouraging Russia to seek alternative trading routes, including parallel imports.

During his meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Russian President Vladimir Putin highlighted the significance of the economic relations between the two nations. He pointed out that the bilateral trade turnover between Russia and Azerbaijan has exceeded four billion dollars, while Russian investments in Azerbaijan's economy have surpassed six billion dollars. Putin also expressed satisfaction with the active engagement of the intergovernmental commission and underscored a variety of promising cooperation areas, including the real sector of the economy, joint ventures, and infrastructure development.

Russia and its nearest neighbors, especially Azerbaijan, are active in utilizing existing trade and logistical corridors, which enhances economic ties. These countries leverage their geographical positions to redirect trade flows, further strengthening their economic presence on a regional level.

Energy cooperation is also a crucial aspect, where Russia and Azerbaijan, as competitors in the global energy markets, seek pathways for mutually beneficial collaboration. Discussions include the possibility of supplying Russian oil to the Baku refinery, which could allow Azerbaijan to free up its capacities for more active exports. This opens new prospects for both countries, including discussions about constructing an oil pipeline through Azerbaijan to Iran with access to the Persian Gulf.

Additionally, the issue of gas swap deals remains relevant, where Russia increases its gas supplies to Azerbaijan, allowing Azerbaijan to enhance its gas exports to European countries. This cooperation highlights the potential for implementing complex and multi-level projects that can contribute to long-term stability and prosperity in the region.

Thus, various cooperation mechanisms and energy swaps open up opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation. Deepening economic and energy ties between Russia and the countries of the near abroad, particularly with Azerbaijan, opens new horizons for both sides. This cooperation has the potential not only to increase economic benefits but also to contribute to regional stability.



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