Vladimir Yakushev to Vestnik Kavkaza: Tyumen and Baku bound by deep historical ties
The Tyumen region has strong and deep historical ties with Azerbaijan, which continue to influence the current development of relations between the Russian region and the South Caucasus republic, the governor of the Tyumen region, Vladimir Yakushev, said, speaking with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza on the sidelines of the 7th Azerbaijani-Russian inter-regional forum in Baku.
"Many fields were opened and the oil and gas sector was developing during the exploration of Western Siberia, and Baku had the strongest oil school. Therefore, a large number of people engaged in oil production came to explore bowels of Western Siberia from Azerbaijan. Many of them then remained in the Tyumen region," he said.
Over the years, the cooperation between the region and the republic has only strengthened. "We continue our contacts in the mining sphere, our universities are actively cooperating, for example, the Tyumen State Oil and Gas University is very actively cooperating with Baku universities on this direction. There is its rector in our current delegation, who arrived in Baku to discuss joint programs and a student exchange program. I would say that our relations is reaching a slightly different, higher level," Vladimir Yakushev stressed.
According to him, a difficult geo-economic and geopolitical situation also contributes to integration. "Difficult conditions always make us close, especially since we - Azerbaijan and Russia - are from the Soviet Union. And it gives us new opportunities for even tighter cooperation," the governor of the Tyumen region stressed.
He also spoke about the joint Azerbaijani-Tyumen projects. "We arrived with two concrete proposals. Firstly, the delegation includes many leaders of the Tyumen machine-building enterprises, yesterday we held a meeting with SOCAR, and Azerbaijan State Oil Company is very interested in the products of these factories. So we discussed an increase in purchases. In addition, the talks will be held soon to ensure our companies to participate in all the SOCAR open tenders more actively," he said.
"Another project is the construction of a wholesale distribution center to supply Azerbaijani fruit and vegetables to Russia, particularly Western and Eastern Siberia, through Tyumen. It requires a modern level of work with wholesale and distribution centers of wholesale and retail trade, where the storage, sorting and packaging of goods would be made using latest technologies. The Minister of Economy Shahin Mustafayev proposed to expand this topic: to build a similar center in Azerbaijan," Vladimir Yakushev said.
The Tyumen Governor explained that Mustafayev's proposal was primarily about supplying Azerbaijan with grain and potatoes from the Tyumen region. "I think this is a good project, businessmen will receive a return on investment and the government will help with the infrastructure," he concluded.