"You are absolutely right, together with President Putin, we are setting the tone and vector for the development of our relations, which in recent years have developed and are developing very dynamically and have reached a completely new qualitative level. We are now working to raise this level even higher. Although we seem to have reached a high milestone, active work is currently under way to raise our relations to a higher level in terms of quality, form and versatility of our relations," said President Ilham Aliyev while responding to the question "In conclusion of our interview, what would you like to say to the Russian audience, especially since you and Russian President Vladimir Putin have very respectful, kind and sincere relations, which is important in interstate relations. The large Russian community in Azerbaijan feels like nowhere else in any other post-Soviet country perhaps. You are a well-known politician, and everyone in Russia remembers your brilliant speeches and has great respect for you. What words would you like to say to the Russian audience?" in his interview to editor-in-chief of Russian influential “Natsionalnaya oborona” magazine, well-known military expert Igor Korotchenko, APA reports.
"We have a very trusting relationship with the President of Russia. It is very important between politicians, especially between politicians from neighboring countries, to trust each other. And this is exactly what there is between us. And, of course, there is a sense of deep mutual respect. Our goals are completely the same. I would like to take this opportunity to address the readers in Russia so that they know more about Azerbaijan and understand the realities of the country, the essence and nature of our interstate relations more correctly. Our relations are based on friendship, good neighborliness, mutual interests, mutual support. I have received, and I still do, a lot of letters and telegrams from Russia, from the people of Russia – both during and after the war. Those were letters of support, congratulations. Writing to me were former natives of Baku who left for Russia for whatever reason and those who have never been here. During the war, they became even more imbued with a positive attitude towards our country.
As for the further development of bilateral relations, we have everything defined. There are six roadmaps we are working on right now: economic, transport, energy, humanitarian. We are now working hard on issues related to the exchange of young people. We planned to hold the Russian-Azerbaijani Youth Forum so as not to pass the baton, but the pandemic hampered us a little. Because, you know, time flies, new generations have grown up who already do not know each other like we do. Therefore, it is important that the young generation of citizens of Azerbaijan and Russia grow up in friendship and harmony. Because it is of great value for us and for Russia, because we are neighboring states. Relationships between neighbors do not always develop the same way as between us. Here, of course, I must say without false modesty that, first of all, this is the due to the presidents of the two countries, but it is also due to all other team members and the public. And there is such an indicator: before the pandemic last year, about a million Russians came to Azerbaijan every year. This indicator, which almost doubled in a short time, is an indicator of comfort. Because people go where they feel comfortable, where they feel at home. The attitude towards Russia in Azerbaijan has always been positive and continues to remain so," the head of the state noted.