Azerbaijan plays a vital role in the CIS space, thanks to transport, logistics, and economic potential. Baku, an essential political, economic, and humanitarian partner for the largest CIS countries, including Russia, makes a remarkable contribution to maintaining stability in the South Caucasus and the Caspian region.

Alexander Vorobyov, a researcher at the Center for Central Asian and Caucasian Studies of the Oriental Institute at the Russian Academy of Sciences, made the remarks in an interview to Report’s Russian bureau.

Commenting on the outcomes of the recent video conference of the CIS heads of governments, the expert noted that the possible elimination of trade barriers in the post-Soviet space is unlikely due to varying interests of the CIS countries.

“It is also because the decisions within the CIS do not often have powerful and clear implementation mechanisms. Nevertheless, such discussions are a step in the right direction. If the members agree on removing some of the trade restrictions, that will progress,” Vorobyov said.

“I think the creation of a free economic zone in the CIS meets the interests of Azerbaijan, which has a lot to offer its neighbors. However, it is necessary to be prepared for the influx of goods from other countries with developed industry and production of consumer goods. Anyway, Azerbaijani consumers will only benefit from this,” the Russian expert stressed.