BAKU: New chairman of Russian Duma visits Baku

AzerNews, Azerbaijan
April 1 2004

New chairman of Russian Duma visits Baku

The newly appointed chairman of the Russian Duma (parliament), Boris
Gryzlov paid a two-day official visit to Azerbaijan on March 29.
During the visit, the Russian Speaker held meetings with President
Ilham Aliyev, Prime Minister Artur Rasizada and Speaker of the Milli
Majlis (parliament) Murtuz Alasgarov. Russian-Azerbaijani

relations and development of inter-parliamentary relations were
discussed during the meetings.

On Monday, President Ilham Aliyev received a Russian Speaker Boris
Gryzlov. Aliyev noted that bilateral relations were developing
dynamically and all the problems between the two countries had been

Underlining that Azerbaijan and Russia have also expanded bilateral
economic relations, President Aliyev said that the turnover of goods
between the two countries was increasing yearly, stating that the
Russian-Azerbaijani business forum will be held in Baku shortly.
Stating that the inter-parliamentary working group established within
the Russian Duma will direct its activities towards seeking common
ground, Gryzlov said that prior to the business forum, the working
group was scheduled to meet in Moscow early April. Updating the
Azerbaijani President on the Russian parliament’s activity, Gryzlov
said that today, for the first time, 306 MPs representing the ruling
Yedinaya Rossiya Party are in the Duma. The Russian Speaker said the
Duma had 29 committees which were headed by the MPs from the Yedinaya
Rossiya fraction. “Moreover, the Duma is working democratically. We
adopt a sufficient number of decisions based on the proposals put
forward by other fractions including the left-wing Communist Party of
the Russian Federation,” Gryzlov noted. He also said that the Duma
was carrying out mutual activity and exchanged inter-parliamentary
experience with the Azerbaijani parliament. Regarding Vladimir
Putin’s re-election as President of Russia as the ‘great victory of
the Russian people’, President Aliyev stressed that Putin had made a
great contribution to the democratic and economic development of
Russia. He also underscored that bilateral relations would give
impetus to the development of the two countries in the future. The
expansion of bilateral parliamentary relations was high on the agenda
during the meeting of Boris Gryzlov with his Azeri counterpart,
Murtuz Alasgarov on Monday. Elaborating on Russia’s parliamentary
elections held this February, Gryzlov said that the new composition
of the Russian Duma was comprised of all the democratic political
forces of the country. Underlining that the Russian parliament will
give priority to multi-sided relations with neighboring countries in
the future, Gryzlov said, “We are also very interested in developing
economic relations with Azerbaijan. Therefore, we plan to hold a
meeting of the Azerbaijani-Russian economic commission after the
gathering of the commission’s working group.” Touching upon the Upper
Garabagh conflict, Speaker Alasgarov regarded the occupation of
Azerbaijani lands by Armenia as a serious threat to Russia as well.
Stressing that there is a need for Russia’s support in the resolution
of the conflict, Alasgarov said, “Russia, as a co-chair of the OSCE
Minsk Group, should approach the matter sensitively. We are expecting
Russia to do much work in this respect.”