Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has held a meeting with Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Executive Board of Russian Railways OJSC Oleg Belozerov in Baku today.
The head of state noted that the opportunities of Azerbaijan and Russia in the railway field will create good conditions for expanding cooperation in the future, the Azerbaijani President's press service reported.
Ilham Aliyev also indicated that the volume of transit cargo transportation from Russia through Azerbaijan is growing, and expressed confidence that new steps will be taken in this direction.
Oleg Belozerov, in turn, noted the successful cooperation of Azerbaijan Railways and Russian Railways. According to him, it is indicated by the fact the volume of freight increased by 25% in the first quarter of this year. The head of the Russian Railways stressed that the organization of the transit of goods and selection of new rail routes contribute to the economic development of the two countries.
During the meeting, the President of Azerbaijan and the head of Russian Railways also discussed prospects for cooperation.
Economic expert Rovshan Ibrahimov, speaking to the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the growth in rail freight traffic between Russia and Azerbaijan was due to several factors. "First of all, it's because the growth of exports of agricultural products from Azerbaijan to Russia. Second, the Russian side expressed interest in the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, certain goods from Russia began to flow along this route, primarily to Turkish markets. Third, imports of Russian goods to Azerbaijan have increased. Fourth, border infrastructure has been established between Russia and Azerbaijan due to both the reconstruction of old roads and bridges and the construction of new ones," he listed.
"In general, there has been a stable growth in commodity turnover between our countries in recent years. This is important because Russian is the main market for Azerbaijani agricultural products. It is expected that the growth trend will only intensify after a full-fledged railway route through Azerbaijan is introduced within the North-South project. Due to this route, cargo railway traffic will increase dramatically between Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran," Rovshan Ibrahimov said, adding that soon Azerbaijan's export to Russia can grow due to the supply of petrochemical products.
Scientist of the Center for Post-Soviet Studies of the RAS Institute of Economics Artem Pylin agreed that freight statistics has increased due to the increase in exports of Azerbaijani goods to Russia. "Recently, Azerbaijan has significantly increased the supply of its products to the Russian market, which, respectively, has led to an increase in cross-border transportation. It is important that these trade contacts are stable, Azerbaijani products are in demand on the Russian market. In this regard, the upward trend in freight traffic will continue in the future," he said