Head of the Russian-Azerbaijani Friendship Center – - Relations between our countries are constructive and multifaceted | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

10 May, Monday

Head of the Russian-Azerbaijani Friendship Center – - Relations between our countries are constructive and multifaceted

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By Anastasia Lavrina, Eurasia Diary
The relations between Azerbaijan and Russia are constantly growing, expanding and will continue to be improved and deepened. Both, political aspects of the relations as well as the human contacts are playing a very important role. The head of the Russian-Azerbaijani Friendship Center Natalya Krasovskaya told this in the interview to Eurasia Diary correspondent.
- Natalia Rudolfovna, in your opinion, what is the basis for successfully developing bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Russia?
- There is no doubt that Russia and Azerbaijan are connected by common history when we lived and developed together within one large state, without any borders, and later, when we became neighbors and friends. For such a long time, measured in centuries, our peoples have developed a similar perception of many things and have established many common ties: from everyday lives and linguistic to economic and cultural. Today we are jointly strengthening this historical memory of two fraternal peoples. After the collapse of the USSR, the national leader of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev, showed tremendous political will to develop the interstate relations and laid the basic principles that are successfully being developed now: Vladimir Putin and Ilham Aliyev sincerely and confidently communicate with each other not only on official but also on interpersonal level, in the language of true friendship. Every time, negotiations between them become an impetus for the further development of economic and humanitarian cooperation. This is the third reason for a successful strategic partnership between our countries. Relations between Russia and Azerbaijan are constructive and multifaceted. Many joint projects are being implemented covering all spheres of our life. These are common political positions in the international arena, industrial cooperation, and cultural exchange - all that, taken together, give a strong fusion of friendship and fraternity.
-  What areas will be given special attention for development in the current year?
- At the moment, Russia-Azerbaijan relations are on a confident grow and will continue to be improved and deepened. The pledge of this is the cooperation program adopted last year for the period up to 2024, so the priority for the current year is the implementation of the agreements already reached and the implementation of five road maps covering all areas of joint activities. I can predict the active development of trade and economic cooperation in large energy projects, in science, health care and high technology. Separately, we can note the further partnership in the global transport project North-South and in the joint development of the Caspian wealth, which received a new impetus after signing the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea, signed in 2018. As for humanitarian cooperation, here I find it difficult to single out something: the range of joint projects in the cultural sphere is so wide, from museums and education to tourism and touring. Of course, I would very much like this year, to see the real progress to start in resolving of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem, with Russia's conflict-mediation, because our country unequivocally recognizes the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and consistently advocates a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
- How do you assess the role of public diplomacy and non-governmental organizations in strengthening the relations between Azerbaijan and Russia?
- It is indisputable that the political aspects of relations determined by the leadership of our countries are very important, but human contacts are no less important because interpersonal communication performs an important mission to bring Russia and Azerbaijan closer together and contributes to building good neighborly relations. Azerbaijan opens to any manifestations of friendship. The roots of this lie in the original multiculturalism of Azerbaijanis, where for various centuries, different peoples and religious denominations peacefully coexisted. But a humanitarian partnership is not only an awareness of its national culture but also a willingness to understand and accept other cultures. A huge advantage that must be used for humanitarian exchanges between our peoples is the absence of a language barrier. In addition, in recent years I have seen a surge of interest in the history, culture, and language of Azerbaijan in Russia. Tourist exchange has seriously intensified, which gives Russians the opportunity to see our southern neighbor with their own eyes, to personally feel how hospitable and friendly Azerbaijani people are. All this is the people's diplomacy, which is called the manifestation of "soft power."
The Russian-Azerbaijani Friendship Center was established under the Russia-Azerbaijan Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group under the leadership of the Deputy of the State Duma Dmitry Savelyev to create an atmosphere of trust between our peoples and to destruct negative myths. We strive to highlight a variety of cultural events to acquaint Russians closer with a rich, vibrant and diverse Azerbaijani culture. In the State Duma under the auspices of the Russia-Azerbaijan Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group with the participation of our center, it is planned to hold a whole series of round tables on cultural ties between our countries. The first such event - “Cultural bridges between Russia and Azerbaijan as the basis for intercultural dialogue” - took place recently.
- It is known that you also spoke at this round table. What place in the intensification of intercultural dialogue do you allot to cultural exchange and joint educational programs?
- The interest in language, culture, and soul of the people are much-interconnected things. I believe that at the state level, both in Russia and in Azerbaijan, every possible effort should be made to stimulate such interest to each other. I often communicate with people who visited Azerbaijan, participated in national holidays or visited families of ordinary Azerbaijanis. They become friends of Azerbaijan, imbued with the spirit of the country.
The common cultural and educational space that is being formed today, mutual influence and mutual enrichment will bring a lot of bonuses to both countries. Cooperation between Russian and Azerbaijani universities proceeds from this principle: a course has been taken to development and modernization of national education, with the study and mutual correlation of the experience of Russia and Azerbaijan. Thus, the cooperation of the universities in Russia and Azerbaijan is not only a factor in the development of education and science systems but also a phenomenon that forms the basis of a long-term socio-economic and humanitarian partnership. Moreover, I believe that friendly Azerbaijan could become a springboard for spreading the Russian language and our culture in Turkey and in the Middle East countries.
- What other upcoming events are you planning to take part in and whether you are planning to visit Baku?
- In the middle of March, the VII Global Baku Forum will be held in Baku, where new foreign policy directions will be discussed. It is expected that 450 delegates from more than 70 countries will take part in the Forum because Azerbaijan has long been the center for dialogue where global problems are being discussed, ways of their solution are defined, and religious, racial, and political tolerance models are presented to the world community. I believe that the national character of Azerbaijani people, who are very open, hospitable and friendly, always ready for fruitful dialogue and contribute a lot to this.
I will also take part in the Forum. “The role of science and culture in making modern decisions” seems the most interesting panel for me, as well as a meeting dedicated to the role of young leaders in global politics. Of course, I very much look forward to the next meeting with the Azerbaijani land, where I will be met by friends, colleagues and an unforgettable Baku spring.
Interviewed by Anastasia Lavrina


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