Vladimir Putin and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev made statements for the press following Russian-Azerbaijani talks.
“The parties, taking into account the high level of military-technical cooperation, interact on issues of equipping with modern weapons and military equipment, as well as in other areas in this area of mutual interest.”
Azerbaijan has had a strained relationship with Russia for a number of years, but as the accompanying excerpted article from Azerbaijani semi-independent news agency Trend reports, President Aliyev and President Putin signed an agreement on 22 February 2022 to improve relations. Several points of the agreement are worth noting, particularly since Aliyev and Putin signed it two days before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The article includes the text of the agreement, which has over 40 areas of cooperation. The first and second points state that both sides will respect each other’s internal and foreign affairs, and refrain from interfering in them. Point number nine states that both governments will continue to make efforts to implement the agreements they signed with Armenia as part of the ceasefire agreement that ended the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War. Since then, Azerbaijan has provided humanitarian aid to Ukraine as the two sides have had a good bilateral relationship. Still, Azerbaijan has so far held a neutral position on the war.
Points 12 through 16 pertain to increasing security cooperation in various capacities, particularly numbers 14 and 15, which deal with working together to develop new weapons and equipment. While it is unknown how much this security cooperation will develop, Russia will likely continue to provide Armenia with new weapons and equipment. This could be a continuation of previous policy where Russia provided both Armenia and Azerbaijan with equipment as part of an effort to maintain influence with each during their conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.
Lastly, point number 25 states that both sides “will refrain from carrying out any economic activity that causes direct or indirect damage to the interests of the other Party.” The government of Azerbaijan has reportedly suspended flights of its national airline to Russia due to insurance issues, but it has so far not carried out any economic sanctions against Russia as part of its neutral position on the conflict. Considering the history of Azerbaijan’s strained relations with Russia, it is difficult to determine how much this relationship will develop, but the agreement marks a step closer to better relations at a time when the Russian government faces sanctions and poor relations with a number of countries around the world.
“Обнародован текст Декларации о союзническом взаимодействии между Россией и Азербайджаном (The published text of the Declaration on Allied Cooperation between Russia and Azerbaijan),” Trend (semi-independent news agency in Azerbaijan), 22 February 2022.
…As Trend reports on Tuesday with reference to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, the Declaration says: “President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, having comprehensively considered the state and prospects for the development of Russian-Azerbaijani relations…Noting the importance of building a multipolar world based on international law and the central role of the United Nations in maintaining international peace and security, declare the following:
1. The Russian Federation and the Republic of Azerbaijan build their relations on the basis of allied interaction, mutual respect for independence, state sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the state borders of the two countries, as well as adherence to the principles of non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, peaceful settlement of disputes and non-use of force or threat of force.
2. The Russian Federation and the Republic of Azerbaijan pursue an independent foreign policy aimed at protecting their national interests.
9. The Russian Federation and the Republic of Azerbaijan will continue to contribute in every possible way to efforts to implement the provisions of the statements of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia and the President of the Russian Federation dated November 9/10, 2020, January 11, 2021 and November 26, 2021, which served as the basis for strengthening stability and security, unblocking all economic and transport ties in the region and for normalizing relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia.
12. The Parties shall develop bilateral military-political cooperation that meets national interests and is not directed against third countries.
13. The parties will deepen interaction between the armed forces of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Azerbaijan, including holding joint operational and combat training activities, as well as developing other areas of bilateral military cooperation.
14. The parties, taking into account the high level of military-technical cooperation, interact on issues of having modern weapons and military equipment, as well as in other areas in this area of mutual interest.
15. The Parties will intensify efforts to create service centers for maintenance, repair, modernization of weapons and military equipment, as well as to organize joint production of various types of military products.
16. In order to ensure security, maintain peace and stability, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Azerbaijan may consider the possibility of providing each other with military assistance on the basis of the UN Charter, separate international treaties and taking into account the existing international legal obligations of each of the Parties.
25. The Russian Federation and the Republic of Azerbaijan will refrain from carrying out any economic activity that causes direct or indirect damage to the interests of the other Party.
Image: Vladimir Putin and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev made statements for the press following Russian-Azerbaijani talks
Attribution: CC 4.0