Yefim Pivovar: "Our publication dedicated to Azerbaijan will contribute to mutual understanding"
Doctor of Historical Sciences, professor, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, President of the Russian State Humanitarian University, Director of the Institute of Post-Soviet and Interregional Studies of the Russian State Humanitarian University, Yefim Pivovar, told Vestnik Kavkaza about new publication on Azerbaijani studies written by the Institute of Post-Soviet and Interregional Studies.
- Why was Azerbaijan chosen as the subject of this work?
- We continue the series of work of the Institute of Post-Soviet and Interregional Studies. We publish them every year. The first volume in 2017 was dedicated to Ukraine - “Ukrainian Studies”; last year we published a work dedicated to Kazakhstan - “Kazakh Studies” - as we prepared for the first meeting of the commission of historians of Kazakhstan and Russia. We wanted to dedicated the next edition to the history of Turkic people, and Azerbaijan was chosen for special reason. I'm the head of the Friendship Society of Russia and Azerbaijan, I work on these subjects a lot, we hold conferences under the auspices of this Society. Just this month - on December 6 and December 11 - we held two meetings. In October, scientific and practical conference "Humanitarian Cooperation between Russia and Azerbaijan: Spiritual-Historical Traditions and Modern Times" was held, It was dedicated to the 650th anniversary of the Azerbaijani poet and thinker Nasimi.
- What aspects are reflected in this publication?
- Modern Azerbaijan, its foreign policy, its economy, its political structure; Russian-Azerbaijani economic cooperation, starting from the Perestroika era to the present; mutual investments of Azerbaijanis in Russia and investments of Russian business in Azerbaijan, financial contacts, agreements between financial bodies of the two countries; joint business in the fields of energy, oil, gas, our largest companies like LUKOIL, Rosneft, Transneft; success of Russians in Azerbaijan, whether in the agricultural sector or in medium business, as well as success of Azerbaijanis in our economy.
In addition, we couldn't ignore issues related to the history of oil industry of the USSR, which implies, first of all, the oil industry of Azerbaijan, the first oil region since pre-revolutionary times. We worked on such topics as the oil industry of Azerbaijan during the World War II - what was the role of it in the Great Victory, what role did oil workers of Azerbaijan play.
There's an article dedicated to contemporary issues of the Azerbaijani oil industry, oil transportation through Russia to Novorossiysk, as well as through Georgia to Turkey. It tells about difficulties that the northern route of the Baku-Novorossiysk transportation route faced, since its implementation coincided with the events in Chechnya, which were extremely difficult both for Russia and oil industry as a whole.
We asked our Azerbaijani colleagues to participate in this work. Rector of the Azerbaijan State Pedagogical University, Jafar Jafarov, a historian, sent us very interesting works on the Azerbaijani villages during the NEP (New Economic Policy) period and the modernization period of the 1930s, which had serious impact. It's a very tragic part of history, but you can't ignore it.
We included in article dedicated to modern foreign policy of Azerbaijan, especially its relations with Iran. This is also an interesting topic, because right now there's “soft triangle” - Moscow-Baku-Tehran - and the problems of the Caspian states, the North-South route are being discussed. There are railways that pass through Iran and Azerbaijan, which can connect India with Europe through our territory.
- Are historical issues mentioned in this publication?
- Of course, and one of the authors of this work. This is an essay on the history of the territory that Azerbaijan now occupies, from ancient times, from rock inscriptions to the present day. The work describes all the states that included this territory in their possessions: the history of the entry of Caucasian Albania, and then Azerbaijan into one or another empire; inclusion in the Russian empire following the results of the Persian campaign of Peter I; the history of Azerbaijan is already with Russia; revolutionary events, the creation of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic; obtaining by women the right to elect and be elected, which happened for the first time in the East; Soviet Azerbaijan; the role and place of Heydar Aliyev in the development of Soviet Azerbaijan, and of course, his irreplaceable role in saving Azerbaijan as a state in the conditions after the collapse of the USSR and the crisis that took place in Azerbaijan. This is a historical part, but there is also an economy, first of all, the economy of modern Azerbaijan, beginning in 1991, difficulties, crises, subsequent rise, stabilization, some decline related to oil and gas prices. We also pay attention to the culture of Azerbaijan, its achievements in the field of urban development in Baku, Ganja, Lenkoran, Gabala, in the construction of airfields, roads, buildings related to the European Games and the Eurovision music contest, the Heydar Aliyev Center. All this shows the achievements of Azerbaijan today, which we are very pleased and proud of.
I think that this work can be used by students and those who are interested in Azerbaijan in Russia, and to some extent will contribute to understanding each other, because there is not enough information that would strengthen mutual understanding. I believe that this work will make a modest contribution to the common cause.