Murtuz Aleskerov, speaker for Azerbaijan's Milli Mejlis, met with a Russian parliamentary delegation Thursday to discuss relations between the two countries.
The Russian delegation visiting Baku is made up of members of the two houses of the Russian parliament and headed by Konstantin Markelov, 1st Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council's Committee on CIS Affairs.
The parties said they were satisfied with the current level of political, economic and cultural links between Azerbaijan and Russia, as well as with the level of cooperation between the legislative bodies of the two countries.
Aleskerov said, for instance, that relations between the two countries had the character of a strategic cooperation.
He also said last year's volume of commercial operations between Russia and Azerbaijan was 60% - or 400 million US dollars - higher than the figures of 2001.
There were more than 300 enterprises in Azerbaijan that involved Russian capital, he reported.
Markelov, on his part, declared that Russia showed understanding as regards the problem of settling the Nagorny Karabakh conflict and would step up activities in the Minsk Group of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) after the presidential election in Azerbaijan and the parliamentary elections in Russia.
Touching on the results of his meeting with Azerbaijan's 1st Vice Premier Abbas Abbasov, Markelov said they had been discussing "very important issues dealing with economic cooperation."
The troops of the Southern and Western military districts will begin to return from Russia's southern borders to the points of their permanent deployment starting April 23