BAKU (Xinhua)–Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called for a speedy settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on Friday during a working visit to Azerbaijan.
“We are interested in peace and order here,” Medvedev said while meeting his Azeri counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, in Baku.
“Russia is ready to fulfill her obligations as a member of the Minsk group and as a neighbor,” the Russian leader added.
Aliyev, for his part, praised his countries ties with Russia, describing the relationship between Moscow and Baku as a “strategic partnership.” He said bilateral ties were “sincere, good, neighborly, secured for many years to come.”
Both sides emphasized the need to improve bilateral trade and to seek new ideas and projects for economic cooperation.
During the visit, Russian gas giant Gazprom signed a deal with the Azeri state oil company SOCAR to buy more than 2 billion cubic meters of Azeri gas by 2012, four times higher than the volumes agreed initially in 2009 when shipments began.
In a move to secure control over Caspian energy resources, Moscow said it was ready to purchase 100 percent of locally produced blue fuel as an alternative to the Nabucco pipeline bypassing Russia.
“We have never considered any gas projects as a baseless competition. We are satisfied with the existing conditions,” Aliyev said, insisting that Baku did not want to make gas a political issue.
Medvedev thanked the Azeri government for extending “a hand of friendship” in putting out the wildfires in central Russia last month.
Medvedev was awarded an Honorable Doctorate from Baku State University to recognize his efforts to promote Russian-Azeri friendship.