Ali Huseynli: "Contacts between Russia and Azerbaijan have entered a qualitatively new stage"
The 10th Russian-Azerbaijan Interregional Forum organized by the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Azerbaijan started today in Moscow. The forum is attended by First Vice President of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva, Chairman of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko, the heads of economic departments of Russia and Azerbaijan, Maxim Oreshkin and Mikail Dzhabbarov, Russian governors and heads of executive authorities of cities and regions of Azerbaijan, business representatives of both countries. On the sidelines of the Forum, Vestnik Kavkaza discussed with the chairman of the Milli Majlis Committee on Legal Policy and State Building, Ali Huseynli, the state of Russian-Azerbaijani relations.
- How do you assess the current level of contacts between Russia and Azerbaijan?
- Azerbaijan and Russia have developed exemplary political relations that provide a very good opportunity to develop the economy between our countries. Especially in recent years can be characterized as a time of serious development of Azerbaijani-Russian cooperation. The course on strengthening ties between Russia and Azerbaijan was taken by Heydar Aliyev, and now it is actively promoted by Ilham Aliyev and Mr. Vladimir Putin.
We are pleased that more than 100 thousand Russians live in Azerbaijan, we have the largest Russian-speaking diaspora in the Caucasus. In Russia, in turn, there is a large Azerbaijani diaspora, and these are law-abiding Russian citizens. All this suggests that we must have very deep friendly relations. Naturally, without the development of the economy, this is impossible, and with the growth of economic contacts, the humanitarian ties are also properly developed.
- What are your expectations from the 10th Russian-Azerbaijan Interregional Forum?
- Today and tomorrow, many very important issues will be discussed here. Firstly, it is an improvement of the investment climate in both Russia and Azerbaijan since our countries differ from others in terms of the guaranteed socio-political stability. One of the topics in the tourism industry, since, in recent years, tourism has developed very rapidly in both Azerbaijan and Russia. Another topic is the strengthening of humanitarian ties, thanks to which almost every month Russian celebrities and cultural figures visit Azerbaijan and vice versa.
In general, the Forum is of the utmost importance. I especially want to note that the First Vice-President of Azerbaijan, respected Mehriban Aliyeva, is participating in the Forum. Her official visit to Russia, meetings with the Russian leadership and her presence at the economic forum are evidence of a qualitatively new stage in the contacts of our countries. I think that both the Russian and Azerbaijani public understand this. I am sure that the government, parliamentarians, and civil society will develop and value these contacts between Russia and Azerbaijan.
- On what level are the ties between the regions of Russia and Azerbaijan today?
- Azerbaijan has developed special relations with several Russian regions -the Stavropol Territory, Volgograd and Astrakhan Regions, the Republic of Dagestan, and St. Petersburg. We greatly appreciate the relationship with them. I believe that other regions should be more active because the Azerbaijani diaspora is present in almost all regions of Russia. Good examples of cooperation with the above-mentioned subjects of the Russian Federation will give impetus to the growth of interaction between other Russian regions and Azerbaijan.
- What is your assessment of the ties between the peoples of Russia and Azerbaijan?
- There are a lot of examples of respect between our peoples. We highly appreciate the vote of the Russians, due to which the Surgut Airport bears the name of Farman Salmanov. Such events are very important. I would also like to mention the HEAT festival. Probably, both the Azerbaijani and Russian public will agree that the HEAT festival gave a very strong impetus to the development of our cultural relations. Modern Azerbaijani youth began to recognize and love the Russian pop music, and the Russians got acquainted with the modern Azerbaijani pop music.
Taking this opportunity, I want to say that we greatly appreciate the activities of Russian journalists - several very interesting films about Azerbaijan have been shot lately, and we recommended our television to make films about Russian life and the successes of Azerbaijanis in Russia. Media communication is very effective. I thank all the journalists who have made a huge contribution to our relationship, and I wish the work continues at the same increasing pace.