Elnur Aslanov: Good neighbor better than distant relative

Elnur Aslanov: Good neighbor better than distant relative

Azerbaijan, Baku, April 20 / Trend , S.Agayeva/

Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Political Analyses and Dataware Department Head Elnur Aslanov spoke with Trend in a quick interview.

Trend : During Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's Moscow visit, Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev expressed his country's readiness to fulfill own mandate on settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and noted necessity to rely on international law and resolutions of the UN and OSCE. As to you, which role can Russia play in settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?

Elnur Aslanov: Russia is one of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs and plays one of key roles in the conflict settlement process. Moreover, Russia is a considerable regional figure in the South Caucasus and direct participant of political, economic and even socio-cultural processes. The Russian president's position which was expressed at the meeting with President Ilham Aliyev testifies that the Russian foreign policy conception bases on understanding of reality and strategic partnership spirit. As international law and principle of territorial integrity is a key factor in solving the conflict, Russia's position is natural.

As to Russia's role in the conflict settlement, I can say that this or other OSCE Minsk Group co-chair's involvement in the settlement process is specified by the participant-country. The time and coherence of steps to liberate the territories occupied by Armenia will show efficiency of this role. But we believe the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs understand that Azerbaijani territories' occupation cannot last for a long time and it is necessary to take active and effective measures.

Q: Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has repeatedly declared that Azerbaijan sees Russia a friend and strategic partner. What fruits of political and economic cooperation will bring to Azerbaijan the strategic relationship with Russia?

A: Azerbaijani-Russian relations have a solid base and are characterized by balanced and mutually beneficial growth. The trade turnover between the states is growing, border delimitation problem are being resolved, new views of already existing relationships and communication emerge and there are additional areas of cooperation. The heads of states have established a dense political dialogue. This relationship is called a strategic partnership. These processes are the result of a natural historical process, but not imposed by force.

The strategic relations with Russia provide an opportunity for Azerbaijan to diversify the transportation of hydrocarbons ensuring its energy security. On the other hand, Russia is a huge market where, in terms of global economic crisis, Azerbaijan can find customers for its products. At the political level, the strategic nature of relations with Russia for Azerbaijan's foreign policy line provides a mutually beneficial relationship with the neighboring countries. After all, a good neighbor is better than distant relative.

On the other hand, since the global economic crisis, the world order is changing, and the architecture of international relations is in a state of transformation. It is obvious that in the near future the world will be multipolar, more regional than global. Azerbaijan should take into account the realities and to shape its geopolitical priorities of the potential world centers on the basis of national interests.

Q: What are your expectations from the newly created Azerbaijani Youth Organization of Russia and how success may be its work in advancing the interests of the Azerbaijani youth in Russia and in the world?

A: The establishment of AYOR was another milestone in the revitalization of young Azerbaijanis throughout the world. The initiative to create a youth organization in Russia, where a large number of Azerbaijanis live and hundreds of students receive education, was launched a year and a half ago. During this period huge work has been done, which has led to an inaugural conference of AYOR with attendance of over 300 delegates. The potential of young Azerbaijanis in Russia is very great, and I'm confident that we will witness successful projects of youth organizations under the chairmanship of Leila Aliyeva.

Do you have any feedback? Contact our journalist at: [email protected]

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