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    RUSSIA, AZERBAIJAN TO DOUBLE BILATERAL TURNOVER

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    MOSCOW, February 6th, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent Alla Isayeva) - The Russian Federation and Azerbaijan intend to double bilateral trade turnover up to $1 billion, Azeri President Ilkham Aliyev said at his meeting with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov in Moscow on Friday.

    Kasyanov concurred with this opinion and added that Russian-Azeri trade turnover had increased by 40% last year to reach $0.5 billion. "This is a very good index," said the premier.

    In his estimate, the current political dialogue between the two countries lays a good basis for all-out progress. "Russia highly values trade and economic cooperation which saw a positive trend last year," said Kasyanov. He also hailed bilateral relations in the cultural and humanitarian domains.

    Kasyanov noted that the visit to Russia was one of Aliyev's first official trips as president and added that Moscow saw this visit as a significant step towards stronger bilateral interaction.

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