Statement of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev at the joint press conference after the signature of the Azerbaijani – Kazakh interstate and intergovernmental documents - June 10, 1997

Mr. President Nursultan Nazarbayev!

I thank for your invitation for an official visit to Kazakhstan and consider this visit a significant event in the Kazakhstan-Azerbaijan relations. Mr. President, your official visit to Azerbaijan last September laid the foundation of the new relations between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. Our peoples share common historical roots, rich history, close and similar traditions. We are tied by our history. However, a new stage in the development of our nations started when Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan gained their independence. Mr. President, your visit to Azerbaijan opened a new era of cooperation between our countries.

The important documents signed in Baku then are still effective and serve our cooperation. Our meeting in Almaty today is a continuation of the activities launched during your visit to Azerbaijan.

Mr. President, I completely agree with you that we possess huge potentials for cooperation in all the spheres, especially in economy. Our common borders through the Caspian Sea and the previous economic relations promise great opportunities for the Azerbaijani-Kazakh cooperation. The documents signed today pave the way for this cooperation. I attach more importance to two documents signed by the presidents. Of course, other documents are also important. In general, taking into account your appendix, 17 documents, instead of 16, were signed. They create a legal basis for our cooperation. I am confident that both sides will make use of this opportunity to deepen and expand our cooperation.

Mr. President, I also agree with you that Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan share the same position regarding many international, regional and CIS problems. This position facilitates the solution of our problems and close cooperates within Eurasia and the CIS.

I thank for your invitation to Kazakhstan. I hope that our meetings will lead our relations further.

Question: Mr. Nazarbayev, what is the strategic partnership does Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan remarkable for? What perspectives do the newly signed declaration open? What contribution canit makw to the solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem which slows development of the economic processes leading to regional security and stability?

Nursultan Nazarbayev: First, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan has no reason to not have close relations. We have no reason to be dissatisfied with each other. Our economies complete one another. For example, Azerbaijan has a rich experience in oil production, oil refining, oil equipment and technology, in particular, offshore oil production. Kazakhstan may use this great experience in oil exploration and production, oil engineering. We used to purchase chemicals, produce some foodstuff and provide Azerbaijan with grain, meat products, non-ferrous raw metals, ferroalloys, etc. This relations is now broken. The total trade volume is about 40 million dollars. We should increase this volume. We have real opportunities for it, especially in oil industry.

In the first decade of the 21st century, Kazakhstan will greatly need two or three pipelines besides the the North Caucasian oil pipeline for transporting oil to world market. Therefore, while being in Kazakhstan, we expressed our full support to the Caucasian transport corridor. We also learned that nearly 200,000 tons of Kazakh oil is transported through this corridor. We plan to deliver oil to the Black Sea coast, Turkey via Baku in future. We are ready to consider the issue of directly transporting the Kazakh oil to the Mediterranean Sea via the Caspian Sea and Baku, and to cooperate in this sphere. In other words, while discussing the financial aspect, we shall consider the issue with the participation of the Kazakh specialists, as much oil is needed for such projects.

Azerbaijan also possesses huge oil reserves. But investors require long-term business. This is our economic interest, too.

What about security then? Security emerges when some countries trade with one another. Positive economic relations and trade make countries continue them. Thus, trading nations will wish stability, peace and prosperity in the neighboring nations. Therefore, all what you say is discussed and met with consent by us.

Question: Mr. Nazarbayev, your speech on the relations among the CIS countries was quite sharp at the last CIS summit. Transfer of the Russian weapons to Armenia free of charge was also discussed at the summit. What is your position on this issue, not taking the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict into account? Thank you very much.

Nursultan Nazarbayev: The CIS mass media is well aware of my position. If you imply the Karabakh events, we are members of both the CIS and the OSCE. The main provisions of the OSCE Helsinki Act and the Paris Charter support territorial integrity and condemn separatism. If separatism spreads all over the world, then no country would avoid wars. Thus, I strongly oppose any kind of separatism. So do the Russian authorities, as I know. My position on this issue was known to you. I think that no conflicts must be allowed within the CIS. In a closed meeting of the last summit, I proposed creating a special committee of the heads of states for solving conflicts within the CIS. I think that we do have potentials to overcome the conflicts. It can also get our countries closer to one another. Moreover, individually or secretly supplying weapons to any CIS country cannot be appreciated. I hope that the acknowledgment of the Russian government will yield results. The Russian authorities promised to deal with this matter; the prosecutors have already been involved. I think that we shall soon learn the ultimate results of these processes.

Question: My question is addressed to the President of Azerbaijan. Today you settled the issues related to the transportation of oil and signed a number of agreements. Which spheres of economy is your cooperation going to cover? I am also referring to the issue of the status of the Caspian Sea.

Heydar Aliyev: They are connected with each other. We are working on the status of the Caspian Sea, and I must say that Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan have similar positions on this issue. We have been conducting consultations, meetings, negotiations on the determination of the status of the Caspian Sea over the last two years. It is necessary to determine the status of the Caspian Sea; many things have already been determined. During the Soviet time, the Caspian Sea was divided into sectors belonging to Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Russia and Iran. We consider that each littoral state should operate, develop its mineral resources within its own sector. I am glad that the positions of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are alike. I think that our efforts will lead to the solution of this issue in future.

As far our cooperation in other spheres, we signed 17 documents today. We signed 12 documents during President Nazarbayev`s visit to Baku. These documents are related to various spheres of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan which turn cooperation into a necessity. We are going to carry out this cooperation.

Question: What could you say about the union of the Turkic-speaking peoples and states, as well as the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh?

Heydar Aliyev: Of course, we need a union. You want it, don`t you? I think that the Turkic-speaking peoples have got big advantages of collaboration based on common historical traditions, language, moral and cultural values. This work is being carried out within the framework of the meetings of the heads of states, and I attach great importance to it. Gaining independence is of historic importance for Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan. The independent, sovereign Turkic-speaking states are able to directly cooperate and achieve solidarity. I fully support these principles and will pursue them further.

Nursultan Nazarbayev: We should eventually overcome the syndrome of socialism. If there is a meeting in Minsk, then the participants are called Slavic. A meeting in Almaty or Baku would be referred to as Pan-Turkist or Pan-Islamist. This is utterly nonsense. Our countries do not intend to build any empire after gaining independence. The totalitarian system deprived us of our roots and made our peoples forget their common origin. Of course, our peoples are very much inclined to each other. The famous personalities, like al-Farabi or Fizuli are common values of our peoples. They belong to all. Dede Korkut belongs to the entire Turkic world. Common origin, history and culture make our peoples closer. Therefore, any union should serve the integration of the CIS peoples. No one say what principles the Asian integration or the European integration are based upon. Therefore, meetings, agreements, feelings of respect serve the mankind, make people closer and prevent conflicts of any kind.

Question: You just signed a memorandum on cooperation in the sphere of oil transportation. Could you please tell how you plan to transport oil through the territory of Azerbaijan? Do you plan constructing a new pipeline? How would Azerbaijan benefit from it? How much oil do you plan to transport annually?

Nursultan Nazarbayev: Kazakhstan used to sent seven million tons of oil to Baku through the Caspian Sea during the Soviet time. You may not know this now. At present we restore the port of Aktau. Special funds will be allocated for this purpose. Ferry transport and fuelling equipment for large tankers will operate there. We intend to export up to 10 million tons of oil through the sea. It will be delivered to the Black Sea via Baku and the Caucasian corridor. The consumers of that oil may be either Bulgaria or Ukraine or Turkey. It may also be transported through the Bosporus.  For importing oil, the port of Supsa is being reconstructed, a terminal is being built there.

It is not sufficient yet, as Kazakhstan intends to become a major oil producer. Therefore, it is necessary to construct a pipeline from Kazakhstan to Baku through the Caspian Sea. It is an international experience. The depth of the Caspian Sea is 100 meters. It will not disturb any country. It is necessary to install a direct pipeline, then to solve the issue of transporting oil through Turkey, either the Mediterranean or the Black Sea; any option is acceptable for us. We have signed a document that supports such an option. In other words, we point out to foreign investors that the pipeline will be filled in by oil. This project will be useful for all. In terms of benefits, it will be as the international experience already was witnessed. How much oil is transported through the territory of a country, so much will be paid per barrel, everybody knows it.

Question: What will Russia`s share be in your plans?

Nursultan Nazarbayev: Russian companies were invited to take part in the exploitation of the Caspian Sea earlier than other companies. The Russian LUKoil possesses a 200 million USD share of the Tengiz project. Currently, LUKoil has an asset worth half a billion USD in Kazakhstan; the company has acquired this asset through tenders. Kazakhstan, Russia, Oman and other countries take part in the Caspian pipeline consortium (CPC). I am sure that Russia can easily use the southern tributaries of the oil pipelines and the CPC. Russia can also exploit with great benefit any gas pipeline going through the territory of Kazakhstan. Russia already uses the Sarakhs (Iran) – Gulf railway. The Russian cargo passes through the Druzhba station. Here we are talking about Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan only. We are not against any country. On the contrary, our doors are open to everyone.

Heydar Aliyev: I also think that Russia has got a big share in all projects. For example, according to the contract we signed with foreign companies in 1994, we have constructed a special pipeline to the port of Novorossiysk through the Russian territory for export of initial oil. I must say that the Azerbaijani part of the pipeline was completed a few months ago, while the Russian part is not finished yet. But according to our agreement, we had already to start the export of oil through the pipeline. We negotiated with the Russian authorities on this issue. They promised that the pipeline will be ready by October. As I said, according to the consortium contract, the first pipeline for the export of the early oil is constructed to the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk through Russia. Five contracts were signed with international consortia of oil companies in Azerbaijan. LUKoil of Russia takes an active part and has a large share in these contracts. Recently, Rosneft appealed to us; now we are negotiating with Rosneft and other Russian oil companies. Shortly, Russia has been fully involved in our projects.

Question: You spoke of the appendix included in the general package of documents. What is that document?

Nursultan Nazarbayev: Cooperation in oil engineering. As known, the best oil engineering enterprises in the Soviet Union were located in Baku. We develop this sphere in our country now. But it is also necessary to exchange experts, technology, spare parts, and oil production equipment. This is my opinion.

Question: In your interview to Komsomolskaya Pravda, you spoke of the favorable conditions in Kazakhstan for investors. What kind of conditions have been created?

Nursultan Nazarbayev: Everyone is aware of this, so I do not want to waste much time. My aide on economy is present here. He may present you our laws on foreign investment. We grant privileges to foreign investor to operate in the spheres, which are priorities for us. They encompass oil and gas, and other mineral resources.

Question: Although the process of determining the status of the Caspian Sea is still underway, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan operate quite actively in their own sectors. Mr. President Aliyev, could you tell whether your disputes with Turkmenistan on the status of the Caspian Sea hinder your activities?

Heydar Aliyev: There are disputes, but they cannot create obstacles for us. We know our sector. Since the 1940s the Azerbaijani oil workers, scientists, geologists have discovered main deposits in the Caspian Sea and precisely know whereabouts of each of them. Therefore, there may be disputes, but they can not hinder us.