President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Alexander Sergeyev, discussed cooperation between the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza.
- Alexander Mikhailovich, what should we expect from cooperation between the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) and the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (ANAS) in the near future?
- Over the past few days we've been discussing the RAS delegation's visit to Baku, it's scheduled for May 20th and will be dedicated to preparation and signing of a formal agreement between our Academies. We're also discussing initiative on intensification of work of the five Caspian countries, since leaders of these countries discussed issues related to development of science only briefly during their meeting in Aktau. We believe that there are a lot of joint scientific topics that are interesting for all five countries, including issues related to mineral and biological resources of the Caspian Sea, climate, monitoring of ecology of the Caspian Sea, history of the movement of peoples around the Caspian Sea and their interaction.
Following our trip to Baku, we will decide on joint initiative to hold scientific forum of the Caspian countries. We really hope that our Azerbaijani colleagues will support these initiatives and will be one of the main driving forces in implementation of cooperation projects in the Caspian region.
- What do you think about scientific ties between Russia and Azerbaijan?
- Current level is not as high as it could be. During Soviet times, there were much more scientific contacts, and in the 1990s our countries decided to focus on cooperation in science with Europe and the United States and weakened contacts with each other. Now we once again understand that we must restart our relationship. It's in our joint interests to support and further develop this area. It's clear that these issues related to the Caspian Sea are important, and I hope that the Caspian initiative, which I mentioned above, will allow us to restore the level of relations in science and education that existed before. There are obviously certain prospects, and most importantly, there's an understanding between all sides.
- What are the current scientific projects of the RAS in the North Caucasus?
- Caucasus is traditionally interesting when it comes to astrophysics. Many facilities that help with space research and are in demand of scientists from many countries are located in the mountains and foothills of the Caucasus. If we talk about other areas, Caucasus has one of the four republican academies of sciences in Chechnya, Chechen colleagues attend our meetings and presidiums. It would be very interesting for me to get acquainted with the work of the Chechen Academy, I hope this year I will be able to visit Grozny. It's clear that Chechen scientists are focused primarily on their own regional projects, the republic is developing a significant number of humanitarian projects related to the region.
Overall, Caucasus has not only scientific projects, in which most countries of the world are interested, but also science projects related to needs of the region. All of this must be supported, of course.