Putin Aliyev Satisfied with Cooperation Increased Trade

MOSCOW (Itar-Tass)– After talks in the Kremlin on Wednesday–Russian President Vladimir Putin and Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev said they were satisfied with the developing cooperation between their two countries–as well as the trade growth rate.

"Trade turnover reached a record high last year–increasing 50 percent–to about 800 million US dollars. Our trade will soon reach one billion U.S. dollars," Putin said. "I’m convinced that we’ll reach it shortly."

Aliyev said that Azerbaijan could not have imagined that the rate of trade would expand so rapidly. "The goal is to double trade in the future and today this appears to be realistic," he noted.

Pointing to the speed with which projects were implemented during the past year–Aliyev said that the two countries clearly hold mutual interests for mutual benefits.

"It would be impossible to reach such figures without effective political contacts," Aliyev said.

Putin revealed that Russian companies are ready to invest in Azerbaijan–noting that there exist "concrete projects."

According to Azerbaijan–10.9 percent of its 2004 overall import-export was with Russia–second only after Italy.

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