Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at talks with Foreign Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov, Baku, December 3, 2019
I would like to wholeheartedly thank you for your traditional hospitality and the homely atmosphere that we experience here. We always feel at home in Baku.
I am sincerely grateful to President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev for the warm welcome and for our conversation, which was really partner-like, friendly and open. We discussed many topics, including the agreements reached at the top level (President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, who regularly communicate with each other, have met twice this year) and the arrangements made at the level of prime ministers, parliament speakers, ministries and agencies. There are hardly any departments in the Russian and Azerbaijani governments that do not interact with each other on a regular basis.
As you have said, the economy is the basis of our relations. Our trade is growing rapidly. I believe that it will reach $3 billion this year. Russian investment in Azerbaijan is estimated at $1.5 billion. Azerbaijani investment in Russia is also considerable, and continues to grow.
It is very pleasant that according to our estimates Russia is leading in terms of the number of tourists travelling to Baku: some 900,000 now and the figure will reach one million soon. Azerbaijan is becoming even more attractive judging by what we are seeing in Baku and in other parts of Azerbaijan. I mean the projects launched by President Aliyev.