Gennady Zyuganov: "There is solution to Karabakh problem"
The Communist Party leader, the head of the Communist Party faction in the State Duma of the Russian Federation, Gennady Zyuganov, speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza on the sidelines of the presentation of the electoral campaign titled 'Ten Steps to a Decent Life', told about the development of Russia's relations with the South Caucasus republics, as well as the ways to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and life of the Russian regions of the North Caucasus.
- Gennady Andreevich, what, in your opinion, are the ways of developing relations between Russia and the South Caucasus countries in the future?
- As for Georgia, we have great sympathy for the Georgian people. Traditionally, even in tsarist times, four trips were compulsory for famous people - to St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev and Tiflis. My father fought along with representatives of other nations, defended Odessa, fought for Sevastopol, was treated in the Caucasus, including in Yerevan, Tbilisi and Baku, and discharged in Ashgabat. He told me a lot about how warmly and touchingly he was welcomed in the Caucasus.
As for Azerbaijan, I have been there several times, and I should say that Baku has found the most reasonable way to build internal relations and international policy. Their huge oil and gas reserves work for the entire population of the republic. The Azerbaijani authorities have done a lot in recent years, so we wish them further success. Modern Georgia, alas, rather thinks about Washington's attitude towards them, than build relations with Russia. Distance between Washington and Georgia is 7 thousand km, while Russia is near, and everybody needs good neighbors, especially since we have always treated the Transcaucasian republics well and kindly. I do everything I can to restore the traditional bonds of friendship and brotherhood.
- What are the prospects for a settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the restoration of peace in the South Caucasus?
- I think that without Russia there will never be peace and quiet in the Caucasus. We should get together and seek a solution that would satisfy all the parties, and I think that such a solution exists. The trouble is that some people are more interested in the benefits and profit, rather than in solutions. Here it would be useful to learn from the great Soviet country: the Soviet people were happy despite the civil war, problems, difficulties, invasion of the fascists. I served in a group of Soviet troops in Germany, and there were Azerbaijanis, Armenians, Georgians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Balts in my unit - and I still remember all of them, but I cannot tell you exactly the nationality of each, because we were friendly Soviet people.
- How do you assess the modern Russian North Caucasus?
- The North Caucasus is a unique territory in our country, a unique land. Nearly 20 million people live between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, and I believe that it is both a breadbasket, a good resort and a school of friendship between peoples, although there are many problems in the North Caucasus. I visited all the republics, territories and regions from Psou to Samur. I climbed mount Elbrus 6 times, I explored all trails in Dombay, climbed the high mountains in the Tseisky gorge - I'm in love with the Caucasus. I like a lot of things there - both nature and cuisine. I also like the fact that the Soviet country has found a way, by uniting the peoples, to enable everyone to develop themselves confidently and successfully. When people think how to fill their pockets, to rob their neighbor, then care about friendship and preservation of national and cultural identity is the last thing they think about - but the Caucasus is not able to exist without it, therefore I am in favor of justice, friendship, labor and socialism. In my opinion, it is the best way to solve all problems, including in the unique region of the North Caucasus.