Strengthening economic ties, enhancing regional security
    Belarus president's visit to Azerbaijan

    INTERVIEWS  17 May 2024 - 15:19

    Vadim Mansurov
    Caliber.Az

    The state visit of Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko to Azerbaijan is undoubtedly an important milestone in strengthening cooperation between Baku and Minsk. The dialogue between the two states has always been filled with special dynamics. In this sense, it is important to note President Aliyev's words that the one-on-one and extended talks once again demonstrate that our countries are good friends. And, to all appearances, Azerbaijan and Belarus intend to further increase the potential of mutual trade and economic cooperation.

    What are Belarus political analysts’ take on Aleksandr Lukashenko's visit to Azerbaijan?

    According to Kirill Koktysh, a Russian political scientist, professor at MGIMO, and expert on Union State policy, the interstate relations between Minsk and Baku have always been very strong, and the personal relations between the presidents are always trustworthy and have their own history of development. As a result, this established potential of trust allows discussing the widest range of issues. And, as he noted in a conversation with Caliber.Az, one of the most topical is regional security.

    "I think that the issue of regional security has become an important topic of discussion between the leaders, and each at least expressed his vision on this topic. The issue of expanding economic cooperation also took a very important place. In general, the agenda of topics is very large, the leaders have not communicated with each other in this format for a long time, and a lot of questions have accumulated. Moreover, there are a number of issues that are purely routine, but which require the attention of the presidents," the political scientist emphasized.

    Naturally, he said, the situation in the region and the increased risks of invasion of Western influence, which is facilitated by Armenia's reorientation towards the West, were discussed.

    "Similar processes are taking place in Moldova, not to mention Ukraine. The South Caucasus can become a similar point of destabilization. We see how the attempt to strengthen sovereignty meets a fierce Western response in neighboring Georgia. Although we are talking only about Georgia's aspiration to be a sovereign country rather than a colony. That is, it turns out that only the United States has real sovereignty, while other countries have only some parts of it. Belarus has its own wonderful experience in 2020, when outside forces failed to break the statehood of the country, although the risk was very high," Koktysh noted.

    According to him, the world is moving to a new stage - the stage of information counteraction, when the media and social networks can become an instrument of revolutionary coup, and the West is even sometimes proud of these opportunities.

    "Both Belarus and Hong Kong are probably the first two subjects that have successfully coped with this problem. Therefore, in the context of security strategy, Minsk has a lot to share with its closest partners. Belarus is also preparing to become a member of the SCO and BRICS, and there is also something to discuss with Baku. Undoubtedly, cooperation between our countries in the agrarian sphere is an important topic. There are great prospects here. Lukashenko was often criticized for investing a lot in the development of agriculture, but by 2019-2020 it became clear that the investment period had successfully passed and started to bear fruit. Now in Belarus it is a sector characterized by high-tech production, which may be of great interest to Azerbaijan," the pundit underlined.

    At the same time, according to Oleg Leshenyuk, an expert of the Standing Committee of the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly, the Belarus-Azerbaijan relations are based on many years of friendship and cooperation. The two countries have many points of convergence and are strategic in nature. Over the years of independence, cooperation has been established in many areas including in industrial cooperation, healthcare, science and technology, education, tourism and many others. The Belarus-Azerbaijan Joint Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation works on a permanent basis.

    "In light of the close cooperation and increase in trade turnover over the past few years, the presidents have quite a lot of issues to discuss, first of all, it is the expansion of trade and economic ties in various sectors, cooperation in industry and agriculture. We are also talking about the restoration of the liberated territories of Azerbaijan, which means that we are waiting for joint projects in the field of construction and design.

    Another area for interaction will be the possibility of integrating the Belarus and Azerbaijani transportation systems within the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route and the North-South Corridor.

    Undoubtedly, geopolitical issues will also be pointed out, as well as measures to combat attempts of external influence and pressure on sovereign states," Leshenyuk added.

    Caliber.Az

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