Russia and Azerbaijan celebrate 25th anniversary of relations
Today marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and Azerbaijan. On April 4 1992, a protocol on establishment of the diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Russia was signed by Russia's and Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev and Huseynagha Sadigov.
Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on this occasion, stressing that Moscow and Baku have managed to maintain and develop the friendship and mutual respect that traditionally link the people of Russia and Azerbaijan.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an article published in Azerbaijan’s Bakinsky Rabochy newspaper that Moscow and Baku are indeed strategic partners. The Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov noted in his article in the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper that positions of Azerbaijan and Russia overlap on many key issues.
A political analyst, Candidate of Historical Sciences Oleg Kuznetsov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that on April 4, 1992, Russia institutionalized the fact of the adoption of post-Soviet republics in the United Nations at the UN General Assembly, their recognition by the international community as subjects of international rights. "After that, Russia needed only to conduct a similar procedure at the interstate level," he recalled.
"For Azerbaijan, the issue of establishing diplomatic relations with Russia was of more fundamental importance, because Russia demarcated the Russian-Azerbaijani border and recognized the independence of Azerbaijan within its borders, including the territories occupied by Armenia," Oleg Kuznetsov added.
The key role in establishing positive relations between the two young states was played by Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev, the expert stressed. "I witnessed Heydar Aliyev blocking the northern border of Azerbaijan, preventing Chechen rebels to leave the territory of the republic," he pointed out.
"We should not forget that the oil contract of the century, which Azerbaijan signed with the world's oil and gas companies, included Russian companies as well. Good trade and economic relations with Russia led to the signing of an intergovernmental agreement on commercial navigation in 2006," Oleg Kuznetsov said.
In his estimation, the high level of the Russian-Azerbaijani relations helped the Azerbaijan Republic to confidently enter the international arena. "Otherwise, the situation with the international legal status of Azerbaijan would be much more complicated," the political consultant said.
In the future, Russia and Azerbaijan will have to finish the process of determining the status of the Caspian Sea. "Joint large-scale integration economic projects, first of all, the 'North-South' transport corridor are also promising," Oleg Kuznetsov expects.
"We also have to discuss the postwar settlement in the Middle East. We should not forget that Baku was the meeting place of the chiefs of the general staffs of Russia and the US. Azerbaijan is also the site for the regular annual Baku humanitarian forum within the framework of the UN and the strategic partnership forum, which will be held In early May. Therefore, Baku is a serious international platform for various consultations, negotiations and international events," he concluded.
PhD, head of the expert council of Baku Network, Elkhan Alasgarov, noted that on the day of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of Azerbaijani-Russian relations, we can say that the ties between the two independent countries reached a high level. "These relations are characterized by the leadership of our countries as strategic. The experience of existing of the Azerbaijan SSR in the USSR, the long residence of Azerbaijanis in the neighborhood with the Russian and other peoples inhabiting our region show that we can build relationships and seek recognition," he said in the first place.
"Russia is one of the countries with which we have delimited the border. At the political level, our relations are moving towards resolving the problems, and many of them were resolved completely. Today we are witnessing how Russian capital is freely invested in Azerbaijan's economy, and vice versa," Elkhan Alasgarov noted.
The expert paid particular attention to the topic of regional cooperation. "Very friendly contacts have been developed with Dagestan, no less important are the ties with the Astrakhan Oblast and many constituent entities of the Russian Federation. In fact, this is the result of the regional policy, within which economic and infrastructure projects are being implemented," the head of the expert council of Baku Network stressed.
"In the political sphere, Azerbaijan and Russia have the same positions on the issues of fighting terrorism, our diplomats support each other in international organizations. Russia's attention to the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is important for us. The recent visit of Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mamedyarov to Moscow should be recalled here, his meeting with Sergei Lavrov. The optimistic tone in the issue of prospects for the settlement is a great support for the development of further relations between Russia and Azerbaijan," Elkhan Alasgarov said.