Presidents Boris Yeltsin of Russia and Haidar Aliev of Azerbaijan signed a treaty of friendship and cooperation during Aliev’s July 3-4 official visit to Moscow. Updating the document signed in 1992 by Yeltsin and Azerbaijan’s then-president Abulfaz Elchibey, the new treaty condemns "separatism in all its forms" and rejects "forcible changes to internationally recognized borders," indirectly reflecting Azerbaijan’s views on the conflict with Armenia over Karabakh. The treaty also condemns "incitements to violence against persons or groups on racial or ethnic grounds, or discrimination on those grounds" — apparently a reflection of Baku’s concern over cases of brutal treatment of Azeri residents in Russian cities.
The presidents of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) and Russia’s LUKoil, Natig Aliev and Vahit Alekperov, signed a contract to develop the Yalama (also known as D-222) offshore oilfield in the northern part of Azerbaijan’s Caspian shelf. Each side will hold a 50 percent stake in the project, with the Russian side financing Azerbaijan’s share of the investment. The field’s reserves are estimated at 50 million tons.
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