June 21, 2019

Russia and Azerbaijan: Main Messages to the World

By Farida Abdullaeva.

The future of the planet depends on the views of humans on humanitarian issues, depends on the development of a dialog between civilizations, cultures, and religions. That’s why the best intellectuals of the modern world gathered at the VI Baku International Humanitarian Forum, in order to discuss and formulate answers to global questions that worry the whole humanity today. A Forum participant, Head of the Inter-Parliamentary Group of Russia-Azerbaijan Friendship, Dmitry Saveliev, shares his impressions of the Forum.

– Dmitry Ivanovich, you took part in the work of the Baku Forum for the third time. In your opinion, what is the meaning of this event for the humanity?

– I can see that both the number of participants and the significance of the Forum impact increase from year to year. People that come here are really influential: politicians, scientists, and experts from all over the world. That’s why the Baku Forum not only turns to be an effective platform for discussion of processes in the humanitarian sphere but also has all chances to join with time the number of leading forums that generate the public opinion and then translate it to the leading political circles of the world.

President Ilham Geydarovich Aliyev.

– The VI Humanitarian Forum was devoted to the subject of “Let Us Form the New World and the New Human: Creative Work and Human Development”. Does not it sound too ambitious?

– The desire to see the world as a single space and the whole humanity as a single society has a quite long history. But today the planet faces a lot of challenges: these are the problem of poverty and hunger, fight with climatic changes, provision of sources of power and water supply; and all these challenges we need to solve together. We exist in the new geopolitical and technological reality that should be discussed at the junction of politics, natural sciences, and core values. The Baku Forum is just the source of ideas for politicians and experts looking for the ways out, since in the process of dialog it is important to reach concrete solutions and deeds.

– Why was it Azerbaijan that became the founder of the Baku process that was meant to create the inter-culture and inter-civilization dialog?

– The humanitarian forum is an indicator of the highest international status of Azerbaijan and respect to the leaders of the country that organize global events of such character. There are not many countries in the world that can formulate such problematics and invite leading experts to speak out on the key civilization issues. A specimen model of internal humanitarian balance, when the state provides support to the social, political, cultural, ecological and religious spheres, was created in Azerbaijan.

It is not without reason that President Ilham Geydarovich Aliyev, taking the floor at the Forum, noted that Azerbaijan became one of the addresses of multiculturalism in the world, and this status is recognized by the world community. At the same time, I cannot but note that this large-scale dialog site was created on the initiative of Presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan, and the Russian party takes an active part in this process.


– Is that why Russia was represented with such a numerous delegation at the Baku Forum?

– Yes, our delegation was meant to represent all the aspects of the public-and-political field and to highlight the closest attention that Russia pays to the Baku Forum. This is evidenced by the congratulatory message sent to the participants of the Forum by our President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and by the presence of Vice Prime Minister of Russia Olga Golodets at the event, who at the meeting with President Ilham Geydarovich Aliyev noted that both Russia and Azerbaijan are an example of a stable policy of tolerance and development of national cultures in their unity, as well as an example of neighborliness and respect for each other.

– There was a meeting of Deputy Chairman of the State Duma of the Russian Federation Sergey Neverov with Speaker of Milli Majlis (the National Assembly) of Azerbaijan Ogtai Asadov on the sidelines of the Baku Forum. What was the subject of the meeting, which you also attended?

– This year there are active contacts between the heads of our states and active exchange of parliamentary delegations between Russia and Azerbaijan. This evidences that the Russian-Azerbaijanian relations move into a qualitatively new level, and the issues of humanitarian cooperation are on the agenda of any meeting at the inter-state level. For example, there is a project under which ten cities of Russia and Azerbaijan will become sister cities. Joint Russian-Azerbaijanian exhibitions will take place in the regions, that will allow people in our countries to better know each other. In addition, Milli Majlis and the State Duma of Russia prepare to ratify a historical convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea, that was signed by the five Caspian bordering countries, and that was the subject of the meeting too.

– As a member of the delegation, you visited the Heydar Aliyev Center and the Old City for the nth time. Can you compare your first and recent impressions of these places?

– I can feel that every my visit to the capital of Azerbaijan is a return to the house where you are loved and waited for. Even if there are just a few months between my meetings in Baku, my eyes involuntarily notice changes in the appearance of the city. For example, two months ago on the territory of the Baku seaside promenade, a fountain with swans was put into operation, that was restored on the initiative of Mehriban Aliyeva, First Vice President of Azerbaijan, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.

The fountain of seven swan sculptures, that was created in the sixties of the last century, was inspired by the poem of “Seven Beauties” by poet Nizami and the same-name ballet by composer Kara Karaev. With time, this favorite place of the Bakuvians and guests of the capital suffered transformations, and it is only now that the legendary fountain acquired its initial architectural appearance.
In general, I would like to say that, in comparison with the architecture of the eastern countries, that is conservative and follows religious traditions, the situation in Azerbaijan is completely different: here national color always shows through skyscrapers made of glass and concrete. This feeling is especially strong in the Heydar Aliyev Center that is an image of modern Azerbaijan, its communication with the past and with the future.

The architecture of the Center seems to break all the laws of nature: the building created after the personal signature of the national leader is flowing and wave-like, but it is very strong and stands even violent Baku winds. That’s what the Azerbaijanian national character is!


Photography Galina Gerasimova. 

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