Medvedev, Aliyev Discuss Development of ‘Practical’ Partnership

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday called Azeri President Ilham Aliyev to discuss “spirit of partnership and mutual understanding,” the ”practical aspects” in Russian-Azeri relations, reported the Russian President’s press office.

According to a statement released by Medvedev’s office, both sides expressed their satisfaction with the “progressive development of their relations in a spirit of partnership and mutual understanding.”

“A striking example of the multifaceted nature of the two countries’ bilateral cooperation will be visible at the forthcoming opening of the Baku branch of Moscow State University,” the Kremlin statement said, adding that a “widely representative” delegation headed by the President’s Chief of Staff will travel to Azerbaijan to participate in this “important event.”

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the current stage of peace talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan were also on the agenda of the talks.

The two leaders also discussed the decision by the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to establish a rapid-reaction military force that, according to Medvedev, will “become an effective tool in providing security in the whole territory of CSTO.”

The CSTO, made up of Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, agreed on the rapid-reaction force at a Kremlin summit on February 4.

Another summit on the agenda of their talks was the Eurasian Economic Community conference held in Moscow alongside the CSTO summit. EurAsEC announced at the meeting it will create a $10 billion fund to deal with the global financial crisis.

The money will be allocated to member states facing grave social and economic problems, he said, adding that relevant agreemen’s will be drawn up within three months.

Azerbaijan is not a member of either regional organization.

The CSTO block was created by Moscow after the collapse of the Soviet Union as an attempt to preserve a united military-political space on the territory of the collapsing super power.

Azerbaijan joined the CSTO in 1993 in a bid to get support from support from Russia in the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict. But Azerbaijan, along with Georgia, left the block in 1999.

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