Andrei Rudenko: “We hope to see Ilham Aliyev among the guests of the Victory Day Parade on Red Square”
Yesterday, the TASS news agency held an online conference on the development prospects of Russian-Azerbaijani relations. Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko, First Deputy Chairman of the Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ali Huseynli, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs Leonid Slutsky, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Azerbaijan Mikhail Bocharnikov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Russian Federation Polad Bulbul oglu and President of the Russian State University for the Humanities, President of the Russia-Azerbaijan Friendship Society, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Yefim Pivovar participated in the conference.
According to Andrei Rudenko, deputy head of the Russian foreign ministry, “Russia and Azerbaijan are strategic partners, and our peoples are connected by long-term ties and friendship, we have a common past, we have a common future and a mutual desire to further consolidate the entire fabric of cooperation. A close dialogue between the two presidents and interaction of all executive and legislative branches are built on this solid foundation”.
According to the Russian diplomat, in recent years, Moscow and Baku have been increasing the dynamics of trade and economic cooperation: “Last year, Russian-Azerbaijani turnover grew by more than 27% and amounted to $ 3.2 bln. Of course, the pandemic will change this year’s statistics, but it’s important that all the relevant departments of our countries are focused on energetic, joint work in order to prevent a serious rollback. On behalf of the president, the successful implementation of the five-track action plan for the period until 2024 continues. A new, sixth roadmap for cooperation is being designed in the field of innovative development and the digital economy. We are talking about promising scientific cooperation outside the oil sector, which, among other things, is extremely important in terms of diversification of our economies. "
Andrei Rudenko said that the responsibility for ensuring further qualitative growth in ties is on the intergovernmental commission for economic cooperation. The next meeting of the committee will be held in Moscow in the fourth quarter of this year, and the next meeting of its co-chairs in a video conference format is scheduled for June. "Close interregional cooperation is developing. 17 subjects of Russia have agreements on cooperation with Azerbaijan, and enterprises of 71 Russian regions supply goods to the republic. We are preparing for a thorough discussion on the prospect of interregional cooperation at the 11th meeting of the interregional forum, which will be held in the second half of this year in Azerbaijan, "Rudenko said.
According to him, close cooperation continues amid the fight against the consequences of the pandemic: "Our prime ministers are in constant contact, the Russian president spoke several times with Ilham Aliyev. At the request of the Azerbaijani side, Russia provided 12,000 test systems. Effective joint work is being implemented on the mutual return of citizens of Russia and Azerbaijan. "
The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation emphasized that cooperation in the humanitarian sphere remains a priority with a focus on strengthening the common linguistic, educational and cultural space that we inherited: "More than 11,000 Azerbaijani students are studying in Russia, more than 1000 of them are financed from the federal budget. Azerbaijan’s branches of leading Russian universities, Moscow State University and the First Medical Institute are successfully operating. Cooperation is expanding through the Diplomatic Academy. The plans are to open a branch of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations in Baku. We appreciate the careful attitude in Azerbaijan to the Russian language and culture, noting the high demand for Russian-language education. For its part, Pushkin State Russian Language Institute is ready to help Azerbaijani colleagues organize training for Russian language teachers and tutors.
In 2019, the Days of Russian Culture were held in Azerbaijan. The Days of Azerbaijani Culture in Russia are scheduled for 2020. We are expecting a representative Azerbaijani delegation led by First Vice President of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva at the 9th St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum this fall, tentatively in November.”
According to Rudenko, the joint project, the Baku International Humanitarian Forum under the patronage of the Presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan, remains the demanded platform for discussing urgent problems: "At present, we are actively preparing for the next, sixth meeting, scheduled for October this year.”
"Russia and Azerbaijan are neighbors in the Caspian and the Caucasus regions. The region is complex, but nevertheless it is fraught with great developed potential for cooperation. Hence the rich dialogue that is taking place not only on a bilateral basis, but also on a trilateral, with the participation of Iran, and multilateral, within the framework of the Caspian Five. Our cooperation on international and regional platforms, including the UN, the Non-Aligned Movement, the CIS, the SCO and the OSCE, is no less fruitful."
Rudenko also focused on the fact that the Great Patriotic War occupies a special place in our worldview and will forever remain a symbol of unity and unparalleled heroism of our peoples who fought with fascism and selflessly worked in the rear. "Both in Russia and in Azerbaijan, we carefully preserve the bright memory of those who died in that terrible war, honor veterans, celebrate our common Victory together year after year. Despite the pandemic, our countries widely celebrated the Victory Day on May 9. We hope that soon we will see the President of Azerbaijan among the guests of the Victory Day Parade on Red Square. We are optimistic about the future of Russian-Azerbaijani relations. We are convinced that their further deepening meets the fundamental interests of the citizens of our countries and will contribute to strengthening peace, stability and security in the region. Russia wants to see its southern neighbor as a prosperous and open for wide cooperation. "