BAKU, April 4 (Itar-Tass) — Relations between Azerbaijan and Russia "are based on the principles of good neighbourhood and are strategic in character," Azerbaijani President Ilkham Aliyev said here Tuesday when receiving Russian Mininister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov.
The Azeri Head of State pointed out that "good contacts" had been established between all organizations of the two countries and empasized the importance of interaction in the economic, political, and humanitarian fields. "Last year, political cooperation between our two countries gained in strength, trade turnover increased, and contacts were intensively maintained between Azerbaijan and individual constituent entities of Russia," Aliyev said.
The Russian Foreign Minister said, for his part, that his country "is interested in deepening contacts with Azerbaijan. Lavrov expressed satisfaction with the fact that "cooperation between Russia and Azerbaijan has risen to the level of strategic partnership". He said that during his meetings in Baku he had discussed a number of matters connected with the broadening of bilateral relations.
Lavrov had arrived here earlier on Tuesday within the scope of his tour of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. The tour is timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relaions between the Russian Federation and these post-Soviet states.