EDITOR's NOTE: Azerbaijani Presidential Administration's Department Head Ali Hasanov's statements were added in the second and third paragraphs
Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 28 / Trend, S.Agayeva /
Russia is a strategic partner of modern Azerbaijan, but lack of Moscow's unambiguous support to Baku's interests in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict remain one of the issues hindering the development of partnership, Azerbaijani Presidential Administration's Social and Political Department Head Ali Hasanov said at the opening session of a roundtable meeting "Parliament's role in development of civil society".
"Can Russia today unambiguously support Azerbaijan's interests? Can Russia today call the Armenians as aggressors and support Azerbaijanis' just position? It can, if it wants. However, such a move by Russia will automatically spoil its relations with other countries. Therefore, Russia today is neutral, and the other OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries - the United States and France also hold the same position," Hasanov said.
Hasanov said all co-chairing countries, including Russia, refused to vote for a resolution submitted by Azerbaijan during discussions in the UN, referring to neutrality.
"These countries should not remain neutral, because they form an international law, while Azerbaijan's international law is violated. Other countries approach the matter given these leading countries' positions," he said.
"We can not exert influence on Russia's policy, particularly in the Russian-Armenian relations. Russia's relations with whatever state should not affect relations between Moscow and Baku. Russia's friends or enemies are not considered by Azerbaijan as friends or enemies of our country," Hasanov said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding the peace negotiations.
Hasanov is attending a roundtable meeting "Parliament's role in development of civil society", organized by the Institute of Eurasian Studies.
According to Hasanov, parliaments play a great role in forming a public opinion and legislative bodies should work over avoiding a negative opinion in the Russian and Azerbaijani societies about each other.