Veronika Krasheninnikova: "Azerbaijan will prosper in close alliance with Russia"

By Vestnik Kavkaza
Veronika Krasheninnikova: "Azerbaijan will prosper in close alliance with Russia"

This week Azerbaijan celebrated the anniversary of its independence - on October 18, 1991, Azerbaijan's Supreme Council adopted the Constitutional Act on State Independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The director general of the Institute for Foreign Policy Studies and Initiatives, advisor to the general director of the MIA Russia Today, Veronika Krashennikova, discussed what happened to Azerbaijan during these 25 years in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza.

- What happened to Azerbaijan during these 25 years of independence?

- Azerbaijan came a long way in 25 years. In the early 1990s - the disorganization of state apparatus, the collapse of the economy, the crime level, and Pan-Turanist Abulfaz Elchibey as a leader. But with the arrival of Heydar Aliyev the situation has changed: he saved the country from the collapse, he established constructive relations with the Russian Federation, signed oil "contract of the century", consolidated the political class. Welfare of the republic has improved - in the 1990s, Azerbaijan's budget was only $800 million, it's $22 billion now. President Ilham Aliyev continued positive course and achieved significant results - Azerbaijan is on takes 38th place in the world by the quality of business - and the first among the CIS countries. Despite all existing economic problems in the word, Azerbaijan is looking ahead confidently.

- What can you say about Azerbaijan's foreign policy - what role foreign policy plays in the country's life? 

- Baku's foreign policy course was defined by President Heydar Aliyev - a strategic cooperation with Turkey and maintaining strong economic and political contacts with Russia. Ties with Moscow give Baku a strong rear in relations with the West. Azerbaijan has no illusions and knows that the West has no partners - it has only vassals, and Georgia's Saakashvili era is impossible for Azerbaijan. We can only welcome President Aliyev's recent initiative on resolving the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh.

- How Azerbaijani foreign policy affected its relationship with Russia - what is the results of today's Russian-Azerbaijani relations? 

- Presidents Putin and Aliyev have friendly and trusting relations - we saw another confirmation of this at the recent summit. Baku played a mediating role in the settlement of the conflict between Russia and Turkey. Earlier, one of the first trips of President Putin after being elected once again in 2013 was to Azerbaijan, and in the distant 2000, the first foreign visit of President Putin was also to Baku, where he was warmly received by President Heydar Aliyev.

- Who made the greatest contribution to the current state of Azerbaijan?

- Current successes of Azerbaijan is an achievement of creative people of this country and President Ilham Aliyev. Before that, the decisive role was played by the national leader Heydar Aliyev. As for relations with Russia, it is necessary to highlight the contribution of Russian community of Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani diaspora in Russia, which created a natural bridge of friendship and cooperation between our peoples.

- What are the prospects of development and life of Azerbaijan in the future?

- Azerbaijan will be a prosperous country in close military-political and economic alliance with Russia. If Azerbaijan becomes a member of the EEU and CSTO, it will provide the country and its nation with economic benefits and security. The objective demand of time to our countries is a regional economic, political and military-political integration. I hope that Azerbaijan and Armenia will resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the interests of their peoples, the atmosphere of friendship and cooperation between the two countries will be restored, and relations with Turkey will be built with consideration of Russia's interests. 

I congratulate Azerbaijan on the national holiday and I wish it new achievements for the benefit of everyone, as well as peace and prosperity!