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In the News

Ambassador: Russian-Azerbaijani Relations Stand Test of Time


June 11, 2013

Azerbaijan, Baku, 11 June / Trend, E. Tariverdiyeva /

Twenty three years ago, on June 12, 1990, the Supreme Soviet (Council) of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic adopted the deed on the state sovereignty of Russia, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Azerbaijan Vladimir Dorokhin said in an exclusive interview with Trend on the eve of the Day of Russia.

According to him, the decision radically changed the life of every Russian.

"Russia, like other Soviet republics, chose the path of independent development. A rejection of the communist model and turn to the market, democracy and pluralism took place," Dorokhin said.

According to him, it was not easy to endure that dramatic turnaround, especially because its social and economic costs fell as a heavy burden on the shoulders of ordinary people in the first place.

But public surveys show that from year to year, the number of those who think that the historical choice made by Russia in early 90's was correct, he said.

"The reasons for their sentiments are clear. Russia has been steadily developing all these years. Despite the global crisis, the economy is showing growth, we have not given up any social programs," Dorokhin stated.

According to the ambassador, the ambitious and capable people have the opportunity for self-realization, which had never before existed. In the international arena, Russia is a country with its own identity, the role of which is really in demand.

"Of course, a lot of problems remain. But I think, there are more grounds for optimism," he said.

Russia's Foreign Policy Priorities

"To answer the question about the foreign policy priorities of Russia, I would have to quote a few sections of the Concept of the Foreign Policy of Russia, and it has dozens of pages. There are many nuances," he said.

But, in short, Russia's interest in all cases is to ensure the supremacy of the international rule of law, respect for sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs, he said.

"Our partners in the West are sometimes inclined to insist on approaches to resolve problems, based on their own historical experience and achievements," he added. "There is no necessity to say that this experience is positive and the achievements are impressive. But every country has its own way. There will be no just world order without its respect."

Russia and the former Soviet Republics

"When the Soviet Union collapsed and the former Soviet republics became independent, I was working at the Foreign Ministry," he said. "It was a real shock for us. We were not ready to work with the former countries on equal terms morally or professionally."

"There was not and perhaps, could not be the whole and well-thought concept at the post-Soviet space," he said. "After all, everything happened quickly and unpredictably. The situation has changed radically. At present, work with former partners on the USSR is considered an absolute priority on all levels.
"The principles of post-Soviet integration have been worked out," he said. "The directions of each country have been determined".

"The situation with Azerbaijan was not easy either," he said. "Your readers will certainly know about this through their own experience and publications. But the most important thing is that Russian-Azerbaijani relations have been based on principles that have stood the test time thanks to Heydar Aliyev and Vladimir Putin."

This is the unconditional respect for the sovereignty and independence of each other, the ambassador said.

Russia, according to Dorokhin, sees Azerbaijan in a friendly light and with sympathy.

"However, the foundation of our relations is pragmatic. It always leaves room for our countries to act strictly in accordance with our national interests, whether it is about Gabala, the Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline or something else, while maintaining mutual understanding and respect," he said.

As for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, according to Dorokhin, there is a need for doubling or even tripling the efforts of the parties involved in the conflict as well as of mediators to seek a solution based on well-known principles.

"Russia, as one of the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, is ready for this," he said.

Maintaining the world's Russian-speaking space

According to Dorokhin, in fact, there is great interest around the world in the Russian language and Russian culture. The task of Russia is to support this interest through civilized means as being done by France with regards to Francophonie, England - with regards to the English-speaking space and Germany - concerning German-speaking countries, he said.

"In Azerbaijan, all the more so we should not fight for the preservation of the Russian language," he said.

Here, according to the diplomat, all the right conditions have been created for people reaching for informational, cultural and educational knowledge of the Russian language.

"I see a positive trend within four years of serving as ambassador to Azerbaijan. Humanitarian sphere is an important element of Russian-Azerbaijani relations. I could even say it forms their basis. And this is in the fundamental interests of our two countries and peoples," he said.

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