The State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) will expand its operations in Ukraine, the country's President Ilham Aliyev said on Tuesday.
Following a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky -- who is paying an official visit to the capital Baku -- Aliyev said in a joint news conference that SOCAR has over 60 gas stations and four oil collection centers in Ukraine.
"Today, we agreed to expand SOCAR's activities in Ukraine and to take concrete steps in this regard," Aliyev said, adding that the company has been operating in Ukraine for many years.
Aliyev stressed that the political relations between the two countries are at a very high level, but the volume of trade is not at the desired one.
The Azerbaijani president noted that joint capital investment projects have also been discussed with Zelensky during the meeting.
Aliyev underlined that his country wants to also improve relations with Ukraine in the fields of agriculture and tourism.
Zelensky said the two countries supported each other in difficult times and that Azerbaijan was always a "reliable and strategic partner" for his country.
"I invite Azerbaijani companies to actively participate in privatization in Ukraine," he said, noting that SOCAR has been successfully operating in Ukraine for the last decade.
He stressed that Ukraine will show its "utmost support" in the production and transportation of petroleum and natural gas products.
The leaders have decided to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the fields of transportation and air logistics, added the Ukrainian president.
Zelensky was welcomed with a formal ceremony in the capital city. During bilateral and inter-delegational meetings, Baku and Kiev signed a number of agreements.
Reporting by Ruslan Rehimov in Baku
Writing by Jeyhun Aliyev from Ankara