Historical background to the document "From talk of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev with the Russian Federation Minister of the CIS Affairs Leonid Drachevsky" (Baku, May 15, 2000)

On May 15, 2000, the President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev received a delegation headed by the Russian Federation Minister of CIS Affairs Leonid Drachevsky in his residence in Baku. The major goals of the reception were analysis of the current situation in the Russian-Azerbaijani economic contacts and steps contributing to the enlargement of these contacts.

The foreign guest mainly dwelled on the possible ways of creating of a free economic zone in frames of the CIS, and of developing joint cooperation between the Russian Federation and Azerbaijan in the spheres of agriculture and energy, exemption of entrepreneurs in this field from the payment of indirect taxes and increasing turnover of trade between the two countries.

In 1999, member states leaded by the Russia Federation proposed to create a free economic zone in the frames of CIS in order to boost economic cooperation. The initiative was aimed at restoring the previous close economic contacts among the CIS countries by accommodating them to contemporary requirements. To achieve this, the Russian Federation was planning to receive the consent of each and then ratify all of them. But the CIS countries, which have established independent foreign economic contacts and became members of a number of international organizations after the collapse of the Soviet Union, did not support this initiative. For example to be established within the CIS, but it is for contacts without tariff on the export and import of agricultural products and for payments for goods of other spheres according to laws. Because of the other member-states similar demands, the realization of the idea of free economic zone within the CIS was not possible so far.

Taking into account the above mentioned issues, the President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev noted that the establishment of bilateral relations was more expedient for the development of economic contacts between the Russian Federation and Azerbaijan. "Azerbaijan firmly supports the enlargement of all kind of contacts, especially economic ones with Russia. Economic contacts lay the foundations of all things. If economic contacts are on the necessary level, all other ones will follow the same", he said at the meeting with the Russian Federation Minister of CIS Affairs Leonid Drachevsky.

Historical background was compiled on January 23, 2006.