What are the goals of Aliyev's visit to Kiev? Comment from Baku
Azerbaijani president’s visit to Kiev
The President of Azerbaijan paid an official visit to Kiev. During the visit, several bilateral documents were signed, the presidents of Azerbaijan and Ukraine made press statements. Azerbaijani political observer comments on the purpose of Aliyev’s visit to Ukraine.
- First meeting of Armenian and Turkish envoys on normalisation of ties took place in Moscow
- Ilham Aliyev: We offer Armenia mutual recognition of territorial integrity
- Human Rights Watch 2021 report: a setback for Georgia
The official visit of Ilham Aliyev to Kiev coincided with unprecedented political pressure on Ukraine from Russia, and international negotiations between the West and the Kremlin on the ongoing Russian military build-up near the Ukranian-Russian border.
After the bilateral meeting of the leaders of Azerbaijan and Ukraine, and the ceremony of signing bilateral documents, Presidents Volodymyr Zelensky and Ilham Aliyev made press statements.
“I am pleased to welcome our reliable partner, my friend, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Ilham Aliyev, and members of the delegation to Kiev, headed by him. His visit is of great symbolic nature, it is a special visit. In fact, this visit coincides with the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries”, Zelensky said.
According to Zelensky, the presidents of Ukraine and Azerbaijan signed a statement according to which “the countries will support each other in matters of sovereignty and territorial integrity, and will strive to protect internationally recognised borders”.
“We have put forward a number of initiatives. We should take part in the further expansion of transport corridors within the framework of GUAM. As you know, Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova are here, and these ties should be expanded”, he added.
In his response statement, Ilham Aliyev noted that “a high-level political dialogue” is being held between the two countries:
“I must emphasize that during the period of independence, Ukraine and Azerbaijan have always supported each other, always supported each other’s independence, territorial integrity, sovereignty, and this support is also reflected in the Joint Declaration we signed today”.
According to Azerbaijani political observer Agshin Kerimov, the political aspects of Aliyev’s meeting with Zelensky should be viewed in the context of the strategic interests of the Baku-Ankara line.
“After Russia occupied Crimea, Turkey began to pursue a policy of rapidly expanding its circle of contacts with Ukraine. There are many reasons for this.
Turkey is one of the biggest investors in Ukraine. Investments in this country have reached 4.5 billion US dollars, more than 700 Turkish companies operate in Ukraine. Any Russian military intervention in Ukraine will put the fate of these investments in question.
For Azerbaijan itself, Ukraine is also one of the most favorable economies for investment. But to protect these investments, an updated Black Sea security agenda is required, since Russia has increased the number of its military installations in Crimea and placed the latest weapons there.
This move by the Kremlin is seen as an act that jeopardizes the security situation in the Black Sea region. This is a problem not only for Ukraine and Turkey, which are part of this region, but a problem that threatens regional and global peace.
The West, in turn, supports the military presence on the Black Sea of the Baku-Ankara-Kiev trio.
In this regard, it should be noted that:
- Last September, Turkish and Azerbaijani special navy forces already conducted joint exercises in the Caspian Sea;
- This event was not just an exercise limited to the borders of the two fraternal countries.
Turkey also intends to bring the activities of the GUAM platform into an active phase. The mention of this organization in Zelensky’s speech is an expression of this strategy.
As for the results of this visit, I would describe them in three points:
- The Azerbaijan-Turkey-Ukraine strategic platform is being formed;
- A framework for military cooperation in a trilateral format is being created;
- Azerbaijan is promoting its potential against new challenges as a regional player”, Kerimov said.