Russian ambassador: Balance of mutual interests is basis of Russian-Azerbaijani relations
Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan.13 / Trend /
Azerbaijan's place in the Russian foreign policy is firstly determined by the geographical neighborhood, and secondly, the geopolitical situation in the Caspian and Caucasus regions important for Russia, thirdly, Russia and Azerbaijan's participation in the CIS, and fourth, the unique character of the past historical relationship of the two countries, the Russian ambassador to Azerbaijan, Vladimir Dorokhin said summing up results of 2010 in an interview with the Agency "Vestnik Kavkaza."
The balance of mutual interests is basis of the Russian-Azerbaijani relations, Dorokhin said.
"Russia and Azerbaijan have chosen a line of mutual relations, which we call a strategic partnership. An absolute respect for sovereignty and freedom of action to each other, the balance of mutual interests is basis for it. Time shows that we are on the right way," he said.
In this respect, 2010 was important, he said.
"We managed to agree on complex and sensitive issue - the delimitation of borders between Russia and Azerbaijan. The two countries have been working for this agreement for over 15 years, and finally came to a unique compromise," Dorokhin said.
Line of the border crossing is linked with joint use of water resources of the Samur River, he said.
"The result was unique too - the border does not divide us, but makes even closer. The Russian-Azerbaijani relations have thus achieved a high degree of maturity and mutual trust. They are actively developing in all areas. We have a good base to continue moving forward confidently," Dorokhin said.
Assessing Russia's role in the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Dorokhin said that Moscow's role is in public view.
"Moscow, together with other co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, as well as by using the potential of its bilateral relations with Azerbaijan and Armenia, does all what depends on it for a just resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict at the highest level (literally) and will further continue it," he said.
According to the ambassador, Russia is Azerbaijan's important trade partner in non-energy sector.
"Over 90 percent of the Russian supplies to Azerbaijan are goods of engineering, automobile and chemical industries, metal products, lumber and building materials, foodstuffs and agricultural raw. Most of all exported (non-energy) Azerbaijani products are sold on the Russian market," - he said.
Dorokhin said 2.5 million Azerbaijanis work in Russia. All this indicates how vital the Russian-Azerbaijan relations are, he said.
"Fortunately, the dynamics of these relations is positive. We are gradually coming to the pre-crisis level, working on new projects," he said.
According to Dorokhin, until recently, relations in the energy sector between Russia and Azerbaijan were brought to the fact that the Russian company Lukoil operated several dozens of gas stations in the Azerbaijani territory and participated with a 10-percent share in gas project "Shah Deniz".
In 2010 supply of natural gas from Azerbaijan to Russia started. In 2011, their amount will increase by two times - up to 2 billion cubic meters, he said.
"Given the two countries' energy potential, all should not end on this. During the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's visit to Azerbaijan it was agreed to conduct a special Russian-Azerbaijani summit on energy," he said.
The question is about terms of strategic plan to agree actions on global markets based on mutuality and balance of interests, the ambassador said, and now works are underway on preparing the summit.
The Russia ambassador highly appreciated the level of cultural cooperation between Russia and Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan, being an organic part of the Muslim and Turkic culture, uniquely preserves complicity with Russian cultural habitat, he said.
"As an ambassador, I am proud of the fact that such major events in Azerbaijan's cultural life in 2010, such as Mstislav Rostropovich Festival, Theatre Festival named after Chekhov and others, have been associated with Russia and its culture," Dorokhin said.
About 6,000 Azerbaijani citizens study in Russia universities, he said.
"I do not know if there is another country where there are as many scholars from Azerbaijan. About 800-900 people went to Russia on state programs. Others have chosen Russian universities without any campaigning on their own will and are studying there at their own expense. This is another manifestation of irreplaceable naturalness, which I mentioned before," Dorokhin said.
The Russian language strength in Azerbaijan is provided by the continuing demand for it from the country's broad public, said the ambassador.
"The Azerbaijani leadership creates all conditions to ensure realization of these needs," Dorokhin said. More harmonious bases cannot be invented by any plans and programs.
"There were times when textbooks and other literature on the Russian language were brought from Moscow, but now it's all behind. The Russian-language sector in secondary and higher education system in Azerbaijan now has a solid material and teaching base," he said.
According to Dorokhin, the embassy sees its tasks first in providing guidance to teachers of the Russian language based on advanced Russian experience, maintaining contacts with the Azerbaijani experts in the Russian language with Russia's linguistic centers.
"The need for it is great. We hope that we will have enough power and funds to realize it perhaps in broader scales," Dorokhin said.