Baku, Azerbaijan, July 22
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva – Trend:
Yesterday's meeting between presidents of Azerbaijan and Russia, Ilham Aliyev and Vladimir Putin, in Sochi has once again confirmed the obvious postulate – no external forces can and will be able to hinder strengthening of relations between the two countries. This does not only have to do with Armenia but also certain Western forces who believe that Baku must be turned away from the policy of systematic building of strategic relations with the Kremlin.
This is not surprising as the question “Who Baku is friends with?” is becoming more and more topical for world powers. Over time, Azerbaijan has become an increasingly significant factor of global and regional politics, and this is due in no small part to the presence of internal political stability in the country, developing economy and Baku’s foreign policy. In other words, building relationships with such a strong, predictable and reliable partner is advantageous for everyone, and this is why, the desire to get Baku into one of the political camps is politically quite understandable.
However, the strengthening of strategic relations with Moscow has always been on the agenda of Baku, and therefore, that is unlikely to be changed. Especially, Yerevan, which has numerously tried to spoil Azerbaijani-Russian relations by complaining, whining and using hidden hints and open blackmail, will never manage to do this. Firstly, Moscow hardly listens to Armenia’s whining and secondly, it never fulfills Armenian requests and demands that are contrary to Russian national interests.
And the fact that strengthening of ties with Baku is in the interests of Moscow raises no doubts.
Modern relations between Azerbaijan and Russia represent an excellent example of a strategic partnership, when two countries have identical views on most key issues. Moreover, these relations are even stronger as they are based on mutual respect and mutually beneficial cooperation.
Azerbaijan and Russia signed more than 200 interstate, intergovernmental and interregional agreements. In addition, there is an important economic factor – Russia is one of Azerbaijan’s main trading partners, and the development of mechanisms for regional cooperation in a trilateral format generally includes the two countries’ similar approaches to many issues.
By the way, the Russian language occupies a special place in the strengthening of relations between Baku and Moscow, as Azerbaijan, unlike neighboring states, treats with respect the preservation and development of the language in the country. This has the most positive impact on the life of the Russian diaspora in Azerbaijan. And, certainly, Baku trusts the Kremlin in the issue of mediation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement for a reason.
Based on Moscow's actions, Baku pins certain hopes on Russia not only as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group for settling the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the country, which is geographically and historically closely connected with the South Caucasus, but also as a strategic partner with whom the relationship is time-tested.
Elmira Tariverdiyeva is the head of Trend Agency’s Russian news service, follow her on Twitter:@EmmaTariver