Azerbaijan and Russia discuss issues of military-technical coopertion

Baku hosted the 13th meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission for Military-Technical Cooperation between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation, Trend reports on Sept. 26 referring to the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry.

While delivering speech at the event, Azerbaijani Deputy Defense Minister for Logistics, Lieutenant General Fuad Mammadov spoke about the current state and prospects of military-technical cooperation between the two countries and emphasized the development of relations in this sphere.

The parties reviewed the current state of military-technical cooperation and determined the main areas of activity for 2020.

The “Protocol of the 13th meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission for Military-Technical Cooperation between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation” was signed following the meeting.

EAEU, Belt And Road to Create New Geopolitical Configuration in Eurasia

The further strengthening of ties between the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will help form a new geopolitical architecture in Eurasia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

“EAEU and BRI begin to effectively complement each other. Their further harmonisation will allow laying the foundation for forming a new geopolitical configuration”, Lavrov wrote in an article for Russia’s Rossiyskaya Gazeta and China’s People’s Daily, timed to the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Moscow and Beijing.

He recalled that EAEU’s international ties had been increasing as the number of countries willing to conclude free trade deals with it was growing, while BRI contributed to ensuring stability and prosperity in Eurasia.

The top diplomat noted that four years ago, the leaders of Russia and China agreed to boost connections between EAEU and Silk Road economic project, which was part of BRI.

“Today, this decision is being effectively implemented. The signing of the Agreement on trade and economic cooperation between the union and China, which is currently coming into force, in 2018, has become an important step”, Lavrov added.

The EAEU, comprising Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia, is an international organisation that encourages regional economic integration through the free movement of goods, services, and people within the union.

Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative seeks to bring infrastructure development across Asia, Europe, Russia and the Middle East.

Source: Sputnik

Russia stands for further consolidation of strategic partnership with Turkmenistan

In a letter to Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed confidence in further strengthening the strategic partnership between the two countries, Trend reports on Sept. 27 referring to the letter.

The letter was sent on the national holiday of Turkmenistan – Independence Day, which is celebrated on September 27.

“Your country enjoys a well-deserved international authority, making a significant contribution to ensuring peace and stability in Central Asia,” the letter said.

A substantial dialogue and mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation across various spheres have been established between the countries.

About 190 companies with Russian capital operate in Turkmenistan.

ARETI holding (formerly Itera) has been operating in Turkmenistan since 2009 through a production sharing agreement on the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea.

In 2019, Russia’s Gazprom resumed purchases of Turkmen gas after a three-year hiatus. Furthermore, Russia and Turkmenistan are initiating cooperation in the Caspian Sea. In particular, the launch of a ferry service across the sea to connect Russia’s Makhachkala with the port of Turkmenbashi, is planned.

The two countries are also exploring other joint projects, including activities of Russian companies in Turkmenistan and prospects for cooperation in the industrial, construction, transport, oil and gas, chemical, and power industries.

Cooperative initiatives in such important areas as the agro-industrial complex and the supply of agricultural equipment, construction, interaction among business structures, and introduction of advanced technologies are also on the meeting’s agenda.

Recently, Turkmenistan has also been actively developing business relations with various Russian subjects, including the Tatarstan Republic, the Sverdlovsk and Astrakhan regions, and the city of St. Petersburg.

South Korea hopes to cooperate with Russia on East Asia railway union project

South Korean officials are hoping to strengthen cooperation with Russia to implement the project on creating an East Asia railway union, South Korean Ambassador to Moscow Lee Sok-bae said in an interview with Russian news agencies on Wednesday. This statement came in response to a question regarding the restrictions on trial container shipments from South Korea to Russia and Europe through the territory of North Korea.

The ambassador said that Russian Deputy Minister of Transport Vladimir Tokarev, who took part in an international seminar on this issue, held in Seoul, deemed the trial container shipments a pilot project of railway transport logistics between North Korea and Russia. “During this seminar, four railway routes were announced that could develop cooperation between East Asia states. These routes include areas connecting Rason and Khasan. We hope for further development of cooperation between the Republic of Korea and Russia to implement a project on establishing an East Asia railway union, offered by President Moon Jae-in in 2018,” the diplomat said.

“Deputy Minister Tokarev noted that there are issues that we have to resolve, namely, to submit a request on preliminary lifting of UN Security Council sanctions,” the diplomat informed.

The building materials industry in all EAEU countries is showing growth

“Over the past two years, the industry has shown positive growth rates in all member states, which in turn has affected the pace of construction work performed in the EAEU as a whole,” said Nikolai Kushnarev, Director of the Industrial Policy Department of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC).

The production of building materials in 2017 and 2018 as a whole across the Union increased by 22.8% and 13.8%, respectively. At the same time, in 2018, the highest growth rates were recorded in Armenia (138.3%), Kazakhstan (111.3%) and Kyrgyzstan (109.3%). The growth rate of construction work over the same period as a whole in the Union was 119.5% and 103%, respectively.

“It should be noted that the growth in the production of building materials is due in part to the presence of state support measures. These are state programs for providing affordable housing, as well as the construction of infrastructure facilities,” Nikolai Kushnarev explained.

The annual session for the manufacturers of building materials of the EAEU has become a platform for discussion about the possibilities of development of the industry within the framework of interstate and intersectoral cooperation. Representatives of government agencies, core businesses and the expert community discussed the current state of the building materials industry, removing existing barriers to deepening industrial cooperation, exchanging experience and increasing the level of interaction between stakeholders. Particular attention was paid to the quality of building materials and the problem of the distribution of counterfeit and unsafe products.



Russian-US trade turnover tops $13.8 bln in first half of 2019

The Russian-US trade turnover totaled $13.8 bln in first six months of this year, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said in an interview with Izvestia newspaper published on Tuesday, adding that American businessmen are still interested in the Russian market despite sanctions.

“Bilateral trade turnover with the US is rising gradually. In 2018, it gained 13% to $27.5 bln (compared with $24 bln in 2017). Positive dynamics has maintained this year as well as trade amounted to $13.8 bln in six months,” he said.

Despite the tightening of the US’ policy, “American businessmen are demonstrating the intention to stay on the Russian market that is profitable for them,” as well as displaying readiness to participate actively in relevant multi-sided events, such as St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) and Eastern Economic Forum (EEF), the diplomat said.

Moreover, Antonov noted the fact that Russia is becoming increasingly attractive for Americans as a tourist destination, adding that the 2018 FIFA World Cup has become a strong example of that as the US took the second spot in terms of the number of tourists after China.

The tourist flow between Alaska and Russia’s Far East makes the bulk of the total flow of Americans to Russia, the diplomat said. He also urged to resume regular direct flights between Alaska’s Anchorage and the Far Eastern cities of Russia. Currently those flights are seasonal.

Export of confectionery products from Russia exceeded $ 750 million

In 2019, Russia already exported $ 750 million worth of confectionery. The growth to the same indicator of the last year amounted to 14.4% (excluding data from the EAEU countries for August and September).

During the opening of a new production line at the Mon’delis Rus company in the Vladimir Region, Deputy Minister of Agriculture Oksana Lut said that the increase in the supply of domestic confectionery products abroad was associated with increased confidence on the part of foreign partners and the expansion of the range, including premium segment.

Oksana Lut also added that in 2018, 3.896 million tons of sweets were produced in Russia, which is 3.7% more than in 2017. Last year, confectionery products were exported worth more than $ 1.17 billion. This year, the industry is faced with the task of increasing this figure to $ 1.335 billion, and by 2024 to $ 2.4 billion.

The new Mon’dalis Rus line will annually produce about 15 thousand tons of chocolate under one of the leading brands in the Russian market. In addition, the enterprise expanded the warehouse of raw materials and packaging materials. Created 50 jobs. The volume of investments amounted to 1.1 billion rubles.

Vietnam expects trade turnover with Russia to soar to $10 bln by 2020

Vietnam and Russia are able to boost trade turnover to $10 bln by 2020, the republic’s Deputy Foreign Minister To Anh Dung said at the Eastern Economic Forum in Russia’s Vladivostok on Wednesday.

The creation of a free trade zone with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) would provide a fast increase in the Russian-Vietnamese trade turnover, the diplomat said. “Both sides have the possibilities to improve the efficiency of comprehensive cooperation in all aspects, thus turning the goal of raising trade turnover to $10 bln by 2020 into reality,” he said.

In 2018, Russia’s exports to Vietnam amounted to $2.5 bln, while Vietnamese imports totaled $3.6 bln.

Vietnam is interested in expanding exports of agriculture products, seafood, rubber, textiles, timber and timberware, brown goods to Russia, deputy minister said, adding that Hanoi is ready to import iron, steel, mineral coal, fertilizers and other commodities from Russia.

He also noted the prospects of investment cooperation development, adding that Vietnam intends to attract Russian investment in the fields, in which Russia has strength, including energy, mining industry, engineering, and infrastructure. “Meanwhile, we are keen to boost investments in Russia, particularly in the oil and gas sector, service sector, trade and joint production development. Moreover, both sides have huge potential to develop collaboration in new areas, such as nuclear energy and renewable sources of energy, cybersecurity, pharmaceuticals industry,” he emphasized.

For Vietnam, Russia’s Far East is the key region for cooperation in the mining industry, agriculture, sea transport and tourism, the diplomat said. “Vietnam is asking the Russian side to consider the possibility of creating a cooperation mechanism between Vietnam and Far East providing incentives, which will enable goods, services and workforces to move without impediment in those regions,” he added.

Russia-China trade grows 4.5% in first 8 months of 2019 to over $70 bln

Trade turnover between Russia and China in January-August 2019 grew 4.5% to $70.59 bln, China’s General Administration of Customs said on Sunday.

According to the data published by the agency, the volume of Chinese exports to Russia showed zero growth the first eight months of this year, estimated at nearly $31.14 bln. China’s imports of Russian goods and services increased 8.3% to $39.45 bln.

In July, trade turnover between the two countries reached $9.41 bln.

In 2016, Russian-Chinese trade rose 2.2%, reaching $69.52 bln. In 2017, this number grew 20.8% to $84.07 bln, and in 2018 it exceeded $107 bln, showing a 27.1% growth.

Azerbaijan, Russia’s Sverdlovsk Region sign 2 memorandums of cooperation

Two memorandums of cooperation were signed between Azerbaijan and Russia’s Sverdlovsk Region at the end of the Azerbaijani-Russian business forum held in Baku, Trend reports.

The memorandums of cooperation were signed between the Azerbaijan Wine Producers and Exporters Association and Sverdlovsk Region’s VINAZ LLC, as well as between the Fruit and Vegetable Producers and Exporters Association of Azerbaijan and Sverdlovsk Region’s TEN Group of companies.

Following the business forum, bilateral meetings were held between the entrepreneurs of the two countries.