The Russian deputy prime minister, Alexei Overchuk, is in Baku today (16 December), as part of the conference on "the current state and prospects of Russian-Azerbaijani relations in the context of integrated processes".
Overchuk noted that work was underway to unblock transport communications in the region, adding that while the process of regional integration was occurring in other areas, such as North America, and through China’s Belt and Road Initiative, “little is said about integration into the Eurasian economic zone”. As such, he stressed the importance of doing “everything possible to strengthen regional relations”.
The deputy PM also highlighted the role that the Eurasian Economic Union could play in this integration, noting that “we are moving along the path of economic integration. Today we see that the region is turning into a macroregion, a single cooperation in the production and delivery of goods is being established”. He added that an observer role for Azerbaijan could be beneficial; by enabling it to be more informed about the events taking place within the framework of the EEU.
He also stated that Azerbaijan could discover new opportunities to connect markets in Asia and Europe, and that Russia could help in this endeavour. “Russia's investments in Azerbaijan have reached $4.5 billion, and [Azerbaijan’s investments] in Russia—$1.5 billion. Russian business is interested in working in Azerbaijan, and there are good prospects for the development and creation of railways, renewable energy sources, high-tech enterprises, logistics development. Now, new opportunities have opened before us to connect the North-South and the West-East. The whole EEU region can benefit here" said the Russian deputy PM.
Azerbaijan's deputy prime minister, Shahin Mustafayev, stated that Russian companies presented 13 packages of proposals to Azerbaijan for participation in works in Nagorno-Karabakh. He went on to say that there were good prospects for the building of mutual investments with Russia: "today we have seven roadmaps for cooperation. Successful cooperation is underway on all roadmaps, and we are achieving our goals. Last year, trade fell slightly, and I hope that next year we will reach pre-pandemic levels".