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MOSCOW, September 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Moscow and Baku are strategic partners, Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to Russia Polad Bulbul-ogly told a news conference at the ITAR-TASS head office on Thursday.
“Whatever sanctions may be imposed against Russia, Russia is our neighbor and this is a fact of life and history,” Bulbul-Ogly said. “We have been together for more than 200 years. There are strong bonds linking us. Russia is home to a large Azerbaijani community.”
The Azerbaijani ambassador mentioned the latest meeting of the bilateral inter-government commission held in Baku on September 15. “There was a very constructive discussion. We considered all landmark events of our relations in the light of the recent meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Azerbaijani President Ilkham Aliyev in Sochi,” Bulbul-ogly said.
He emphasized the strategic partnership between Moscow and Baku. Specifically, the Azerbaijani ambassador pointed out that his country had not closed down a single Russian school. “We have a local branch of the Moscow State University and we have established a Slavic University,” he said. “You can hear Russian speech on the streets and in families. Those who have been to Baku know this. And those who haven’t, please come and see it for yourself."
Azerbaijan resists international pressure over its cooperation with Russia and considers that the months-long crisis in Ukraine is a domestic affair, the country’s envoy to Moscow said on Thursday.
“Various forces and countries try to influence us, different PR campaigns are being carried out,” Azerbaijan’s Ambassador Polad Bulbuloglu said, answering a question whether Baku is under external pressure over cooperating with Russia. “We treat this calmly. Foreign pressure does not work here,” the ambassador said. “We are conducting a sovereign and independent policy,” he added.
Speaking on the Ukrainian crisis, Bulbuloglu said Baku regards the current events as a matter of domestic affairs. “There is a civil war there. We believe that any conflicts need to be resolved by political means and through negotiations,” the ambassador stressed.
“Events in Ukraine are a very unpleasant moment in the lives of all the countries that were part of the Soviet Union. I could not have seen in a nightmare what is happening in Ukraine today. Azerbaijan adheres to territorial integrity of states. We believe that the world order after World War II cannot be disrupted,” the ambassador said.