Baku holds 'North-South' conference on 25th anniversary Russian-Azerbaijani diplomatic relations
Today Baku is holding a roundtable titled 'Russia-Azerbaijan: 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations. Partnership strategy' timed to the anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the countries.
The conference is being attended by leading Russian and Azerbaijani experts, politicians, diplomats, public figures and representatives of mass media of the two states - the expert of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Alexei Fenenko, the MP of the Azerbaijani Majlis Rasim Musabekov, the head of the Sustainable Development Department at the Academy of Public Administration of Azerbaijan, Chingiz Ismailov, the expert on issues of national security Kamil Salimov, the head of the expert council of Baku Network Elkhan Alasgarov and others.
The agenda of the meeting includes a discussion of topical aspects of the development of relations between Russia and Azerbaijan in the period of independence, issues of cooperation between states in the sphere of ensuring regional security, the integration of Russian and Eurasian projects in the Caucasus, and analysis of the potential for interregional cooperation, prospects for expanding bilateral cooperation and development of humanitarian ties.
In the context of the humanitarian agenda, most attention will be paid to the study of the experience of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, as well as Azerbaijan's policy of preserving the Russian language and promoting Russian culture.
The event was organized by the North-South Political Science Center and its representation in Baku.
Executive Director of the North-South Political Center, Angelica Trapeznikova, stressed at the opening that this event shows the importance of joint humanitarian projects between Russia and Azerbaijan. "Over the past 25 years, we have managed to achieve positive results in a number of areas and have prospects for the development of ties in education, economy, etc. Now we can jointly face global challenges more effectively," she said.
The employee of the Administration of the President of Azerbaijan, Metanet Bagieva, in turn, drew attention to the high level of relations between the presidents of the two countries, contributing to the development of the Russian-Azerbaijani cooperation. "Russia contributes to the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Russia is the trade and economic partner of Azerbaijan, the largest Russian community in the Caucasus lives on the territory of our republic. The Russian language is given a great attention in the republic and a number of branches of Russian universities operate here," the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza cited her as saying.
The head of the expert council of Baku Network Elkhan Alasgarov stressed that Azerbaijan stands for achieving stability in the Caucasus. "Our special services work together to combat international terrorism, Russia and Azerbaijan are interested in the safe transportation of energy resources and can count on cooperation with each other during this crisis period," he said.
"We have good prospects in the sphere of railway infrastructure, in migration policy. Azerbaijan is interested in Russia as a trading platform. Last year, the cooperation between Azerbaijan-Russia-Iran and Azerbaijan-Russia-Turkey were outlined, and we should not forget about our interaction on the Caspian Sea," Elkhan Aleskerov pointed out.
The expert of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Alexei Fenenko, said that Russia would like to connect Azerbaijan to the Eurasian projects. "Earlier, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told APA agency that Russia would welcome a possible Azerbaijan's decision to join the Eurasian Economic Union. If these projects prove to be justified, it will be expedient for Baku to join them," he said, adding that Russia is interested in cooperation with Azerbaijan in the oil and gas sector.
Speaking about the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Alexey Fenenko suggested creating a new format for the settlement. "The creation of a certain safety net with the involvement of Turkey and Iran could have a positive impact on the solution of the Karabakh issue. I think Turkey will join the solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the near future," the expert of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations believes.
The head of the Sustainable Development Department at the Academy of Public Administration of Azerbaijan, Chingiz Ismailov, noted the sensitivity for the republic of the situation in the North Caucasus, particularly in Dagestan, and spoke about the economic cooperation between the two countries, focusing on the export of Azerbaijani agricultural products to Russia. He also proposed to develop horse-riding tourism.
Senior Researcher of the Institute of Socio-Political Research under the Russian Academy of Sciences, Igor Seleznev, said that cooperation between Azerbaijan and Russia in the Caspian Sea is the main stabilizing regional factor. "The escalation of the conflict in the Caspian Sea does not meet the interests of any of the Caspian countries," the scientist said.
The MP of the Azerbaijani Majlis Rasim Musabekov drew attention to Azerbaijan's interest in gaining economic and political benefits from the relations it is building today. "The unsettled status of the Caspian status leads to risks. It's enough to see that Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran have repeatedly increased their military power in the Caspian Sea over the past 25 years. Further militarization will not bring anything good, therefore the status of the Caspian Sea should be determined in the first place," he called.
The First Vice-President of the Strategic Development Modeling Center, Grigory Trofimchuk, speaking about the Karabakh issue, urged the international community "not to stick its head in the sand." "The settlement has stalled. Two points are important in the Karabakh issue: creating a peace platform for dialogue and Azerbaijan's readiness to discuss the status of Nagorno-Karabakh," the political scientist noted..
The expert on national security Kamil Salimov recalled the scale of Russian-Azerbaijani military-technical cooperation. "If the CSTO partners bought Russian weapons worth about $500 million, then Azerbaijan bought arms from Russia worth $1 billion," he said.