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Russia food ban offers big opportunity for Azerbaijan — expert

September 18, 2014, 15:17 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The former Soviet republic could significantly increase supplies of agricultural products to the Russian market
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© ITAR-TASS/Dmitry Rogulin

MOSCOW, September 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s ban on many western food imports presents a major opportunity for agricultural exports from Azerbaijan, a leading political commentator told journalists on Thursday.

The former Soviet republic could significantly increase supplies of agricultural products to the Russian market as Moscow sought to fill gaps resulting from its food embargo on imports from the West, Civic Chamber member and Political Studies Institute director Sergei Markov said.

Great opportunities for cooperation between the two nations exist in energy, military and technological fields, Markov told a news conference at ITAR-TASS headquarters.

“Azerbaijan has turned into a dynamically developing country," he said. "All this creates opportunities to develop economic ties on a new basis,” he told reporters, noting prospects for joint oil production projects at offshore fields in the Caspian Sea.

“We are ready to expand military and technical cooperation with Azerbaijan, particularly to sell sophisticated weapons systems,” he added. “Azerbaijan receives them as a strategic partner and a friendly nation.”

Azerbaijan’s ambassador to Russia, Polad Bulbul-ogly, said the republic could ramp up increased agrarian production to supply Russia not only with fruit and vegetables but also with poultry, adding that the issue was extensively discussed by an intergovernmental commission.

Russia's food import ban

Russia banned imports of meat, fish, dairy, fruit and vegetables from the United States, the 28-nation European Union, Australia, Canada and Norway for 12 months at the beginning of August, retaliating for Western sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine.

Since then, Russia has been in talks with Latin and South American countries, the Middle East and Asia to replace prohibited produce.

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