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Azerbaijan, Russia agreed that they don't agree

Staff writer |
The regular meeting of experts from Azerbaijan and Russian governments on negotiating the draft agreement on mutual stimulation and protection of investments has been held in Baku but, according to one of the participators, the meeting has failed to bring any results.

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"Azerbaijani experts were ready to agree with all Russian remarks, however, Russia was represented by an incompetent specialist. Therefore, the negotiations failed to make any progress and initialing of the draft agreement was put on ice," the participator said, reports

Last year Russian government made six amendments to the draft agreement in spite of the fact that as far as on 18 March 2011 the Azerbaijani-Russian Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation has agreed to facilitate the process of the agreement signing. The pretext for revising the draft agreement was the necessity to bring it in conformance with "international standards". So, the whole process of project coordination started all over again.

In accordance with its working plan, the Russian government initially had no plans to sign the agreement in 2012 or in 2013. By the moment of the draft agreement revision the parties had to solve the only issue - to define the terms when it should come into force.

Russia proposed that the agreement would come into force from the moment of its signing. Azerbaijan suggested defining the date of coming into force from 1990 when Russia adopted the law on economic security, so that to avoid legal vacuum. Russia was against it though Azerbaijan warned that Azerbaijani and Russian mutual investments made over 20 years after USSR collapse would remain without any legal protection and warranties.

Unwillingness to accept Azerbaijani option was explained by unwillingness to revise the results of property privatization as some property in Russia could belong to Azerbaijan and Russian was not eager to be accused in illegal takeover and pay many millions in dollars and euro) of penalties. Azerbaijan was ready to agree with the Russian position when a "creative" approach to prepared agreement prevailed in Moscow.

The final protocol with a number of agreements was signed at the meeting of Intergovernmental Commission held in Moscow on March 18. The parties agreed to facilitate the preparation and signing of two basic agreements – on settlement of proprietary rights for diplomatic missions and on mutual stimulation and protection of investments.

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