Shadow Side of Azerbaijani-Russian Trade Cooperation
Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit to Azerbaijan on June 12-13 said that on the results of 2014 the trade turnover increased by 12% and on the results of the 1st quarter of 2015 - by 5%.
Putin did not clarify data in money terms, but clarification by the agency Turan revealed serious inconsistency in the data reported by the Russian and Azerbaijani sides.
According to the Federal Customs Service in 2014, bilateral trade volume amounted to $ 4 billion, showing 12 percent growth in comparison with 2013. In the first quarter of 2015, bilateral trade amounted to $ 707 million (increase of 5.8%). According to the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan, the trade turnover with Russia in 2014 amounted to $ 1.96 billion, of which imports from Russia to Azerbaijan totaled $ 1.3 bn, while exports to Russia - $ 640.3 million. In the first quarter 2015 the trade turnover amounted to $ 396,060,000, which is 5% less than in the same period in 2014. In January-March 2015 exports from Russia to Azerbaijan totaled $ 334.9 million.
The analysis shows that either the Russian customs overstates or the Azerbaijani side understates the turnover by $ 2.7 billion for 2014. In the 1st quarter of this year the discrepancy was $ 311 million. According to Russian data in the 1st quarter of this year, Azerbaijan exported goods worth $ 634.1 million, and on the Azerbaijani statistics, Russian exports amounted to $ 334.9 million. The mismatch is $ 299.2 million.
It is unlikely that the Russian statistics bluff. Earlier studies by Turan, as well as a number of NGOs and the media showed that the Azerbaijani customs hides the real trade with almost all countries, including Turkey, Iran, Belarus and others.
However, the government and law enforcement agencies do not react to the large-scale criminal facts that have become known to the public and lead to the loss of billions for the economy.
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