From talk of President Heydar Aliyev with the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin in the "Predstavitelskoye Hall" of the Kremlin - Moscow, September 23, 2002

Vladimir Putin: Distinguished colleagues, let me welcome you in Moscow once again. I am very glad that the relations between Russia and Azerbaijan develop so intensively in the recent years. As I know, yesterday you have met our speaker of parliament in Baku, and now you are here, in Moscow, not only for discussions of some issues of mutual interest, but to sign the documents to which we attach great importance. They are the documents on the division of the bottom of the Caspian Sea, education and some others. Heydar Aliyevitch, I know that You have personally worked hard on them for a long time.

I hope that we shall finish our joint work by signing these documents and we will build our future relations for long-term perspectives based on these documents. Unfortunately our trade turnover decreased in the last years, but it went up in the early months of the current year.

Heydar Aliyev: Approximately 60 percent. By the way, Russia is in the first place in our turnover.

Vladimir Putin: Heydar Aliyevitch, I know it. I also know that You, personally pay great attention to the development and support of the Russian language and culture. That is why, we are very thankful to you. We know and feel it.

Heydar Aliyevitch, we are very glad to see You, to say "welcome" to You.

Heydar Aliyev: Vladimir Vladimirovitch, Thank You, for your invitation to meet and discuss the issues with me. Each our visit to Moscow is of very great importance for us. Undoubtedly, every such meeting strengthens and develops the Russian-Azerbaijani relations. You said that you were very glad, and you stressed that the Russian-Azerbaijani relations develop very intensively. You have founded the basis of this process on January 9, 2001, with your first official visit to Azerbaijan. You noted then, that it was the first visit of the Russian President in the new century. We attach great importance to this.

I can say that since then, our relations develop in all the directions - economy, science and education as well, and it will go on.

We have signed nearly 100 documents with Russia, and 70 of them are intergovernmental, and it is a great contribution to our work from the point of view of the development of relations between Russia and Azerbaijan. You are right that the documents, which we are going to sign today, especially the one concerning the division of the bottom of the Caspian Sea, are of great importance.

You know that we talked with you about it much and exchanged views in the Ashgabat Summit. That is very good and the result is that Russia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan share similar positions in this issue, and I think that other Caspian states will gradually come to the same result. Because, exploration of the Caspian oil and gas reserves is an ultimately important issue, and as we know, our experience confirms it. I am aware that a very promising oil well is being drilled in the Russian sector now. It is known that great results have been achieved after drilling works there. They are just the initial steps, because we have carried out prospecting works in the Russian sector. The Soviet government assigned us to do it and we discovered many reserves. But it is not permitted to be engaged in exploration in the Russian sector because of the fish, the River Volga and some other issues. However, the great sector which you have, and we are going to determine the borders, has no relation to the fish.

By the way, taking this opportunity, I want to say that we produce oil in the Caspian Sea for more than 50 years. We have studied that it does not harm the fish and microorganisms in the sea. That is why, I think that you will achieve very positive results here. 

"Azerbaijan" newspaper, September 26, 2002.