Russia Azerbaijan Trade On the Rise Says Commission Report

MOSCOW (Itar-Tass)–Trade turnover between Russia and Azerbaijan grew by nearly 60 percent in 1996–and–by another 40 percent–in the first four months of 1997.

Russian deputy Prime Minister Valery Serov announced this today at the opening of the third meeting of the intergovernmental commission for economic cooperation between Azerbaijan and Russia.

He noted–however–that the volume of trade is far below the two countries’ potentials.

Azerbaijan’s First Deputy Prime Minister Abbas Abbasov noted–on his part–that trade turnover could be increased if numerous economic and political problems were resolved.

He said it is necessary to decide shortly the question of the passage of Azeri vessels through Russian waterways.

Russia and Azerbaijan experience major economic difficulties because of the closure of transport communications–Abbasov said.

Abbasov believes major positive changes have taken place in relations between Russia and Azerbaijan–but there still exist problems that should urgently be settled.

Serov said that Azeri President Geidar Aliyev’s visit to Russia planned for July 3 – July 4 can solve many economic and political problems and will play an important role in the development of bilateral relations.

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