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Presidents Of Azerbaijan, Iran, And Russia Meet In Baku

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he's eager to discuss new energy and transportation projects in the Caspian Sea region with his counterparts from Azerbaijan and Iran.

The August 8 meeting is the first time the three countries have held such a gathering, and the three leaders said the new format should help improve ties.

The talks are expected to give a new push to the construction of a new transport corridor. Officials hope the route through Azerbaijan and Iran will increase trade by significantly reducing freight costs, particularly trade heading from Russia to India.

At earlier talks with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Putin said that the trilateral talks would allow the three countries to implement new projects in the Caspian Sea.

At a separate meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rohani, Putin expressed satisfaction with developments of bilateral economic ties between Moscow and Tehran.

Russia is a longtime economic partner of Iran's, and has been a key supplier of nuclear technology and fuel, despite long-standing Western concerns about Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Putin also pointed at threats posed by the Islamic State group and other extremists, saying that the three states need to cooperate more closely to tackle that and other challenges.

Based on reporting by TASS,, AP, and IRNA