Experts discussed cooperation between Russia and Azerbaijan in the South Caucasus
On November 27, 2023, the fourth session of the Russian-Azerbaijani Expert Council (RAEC) convened in Moscow, a collaborative effort between the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) and the Center for Analysis of International Relations of Azerbaijan (CAIRA). The event centered on the theme "Interaction between Russia and Azerbaijan in the Conditions of Post-Conflict Development in the South Caucasus."
During the opening remarks, Elshad Iskandarov, Ambassador of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan on Special Assignments, and Mikhail Kalugin, Deputy Director of the CIS Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, underscored the strategic partnership between Russia and Azerbaijan. Both officials highlighted the alignment of Moscow and Baku's perspectives on neutralizing post-conflict challenges. Foreign ministry representatives praised the council's role in fortifying bilateral relations and expressed anticipation for its future endeavors.
Subsequently, Ivan Timofeyev, Director General of RIAC, and Farid Shafiyev, Chairman of the Management Board of CAIRA, commended the council's noteworthy expert activities since its establishment. They emphasized the significance of direct exchanges between experts from both nations and the imperative of informing the public about regional developments.
In closed-door sessions marked by interactive dialogue, participants delved into discussions on regional security, collaboration amid global challenges, and the reinforcement of regional cooperation in the 3+3 format to mitigate new geopolitical risks, particularly in the South Caucasus. Noteworthy attention was also given to regional communication matters such as the North-South International Transport Corridor, East-West Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, and the Zangazur Corridor.
The meeting concluded with the adoption of a communique that encapsulated practical recommendations from the Council on various facets of the two countries' relations. Government authorities from both Russia and Azerbaijan deemed it fitting to institutionalize the Council's activities permanently, as articulated in a document slated for presentation at the upcoming XII Russia-Azerbaijan Interregional Forum.