Chairman of the State Duma of the Russian Federation Vyacheslav Volodin
A photo: Mikhail FROLOV
…As if it was yesterday. On February 22, together with the deputies of the State Duma, I flew out to cover their working visit to Cuba. And in front of our plane at the capital’s airport was a special plane of the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev. He arrived at the Kremlin that day, signed the Declaration on Allied Cooperation between the two states.
And just two days later, “Day Z” came. Of course, the summit with Aliyev was prepared well in advance, and the signing of a historic document that strengthened our southern rear in front of the NVO was just a coincidence. Though significant.
And now, seven months later, on September 26, on the eve of a new stage of the special operation, our deputies, headed by Chairman of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin, are again flying on a visit through parliamentary diplomacy. This time – to Azerbaijan.
Someone will ask: why do all these business trips, protocol events? Well, everything is relative. In the same weeks, in mid-September, the speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, flew to one of the neighboring Transcaucasian capitals. And immediately, as ordered: aggravation between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Zangezur region, riots in neighboring Iran. It also seems to be a coincidence. But very revealing!
And our speaker Volodin, on the contrary, with his parliamentary diplomacy brings only stability:
“Relations between Russia and Azerbaijan are developing successfully largely thanks to the efforts of our presidents,” says Vyacheslav Viktorovich at a meeting with his colleague, chairman of the Azerbaijani Milli Majlis, Sagiba Ali gizi Gafarova.
And he adds that the State Duma will work on legislative support for the implementation of the same Declaration on Allied Cooperation between the two countries.
“Azerbaijan and Russia are bound by centuries-old ties of good neighborliness,” says Sagiba Gafarova. – In Azerbaijan, they carefully treat the Russian language and Russian culture, there are 347 secondary schools and 27 universities with Russian education. The Russian Orthodox Church is freely functioning in our country – here, the largest community in the South Caucasus, 120 thousand people.
– Your attention to Russian is extremely important in order to develop communication. We are now discussing the creation of a Russian school here in accordance with the standards of the Russian Federation. All this makes our relationship stronger,” Volodin replies.
And he proposes a whole package of initiatives: to switch to interaction at the level of relevant committees of the Duma and the Mejlis, as well as to hold a parliamentary conference of the countries of the Caspian Sea. This inner basin, as you know, unites five countries, but third-party Western players would very much like to bring their “vision of democracy” here.
In the midst of the visit, everyone is shocked by the news of the tragedy – the massacre in Izhevsk school No. 88. Just at this moment, State Duma deputies lay mourning flowers at the Alley of Shahids – the Baku memorial to the victims of wars. And so it turns out that they bow their heads in memory of our children. After all, they are also victims of the war against international terrorism…
And back to the beginning. The very first paragraph of the Declaration on Allied Interaction between Russia and Azerbaijan reads: “Both sides respect each other’s territorial integrity.” It turns out that Moscow recognizes the recent accession of Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan, and that – Donbass and Novorossia?
While it is too early to talk about it, the referendum on the accession to Russia of two people’s republics and two regions continues. But it is obvious: on the same day when the US and the EU throw another hysteria over this plebiscite and demand “to further isolate Russia in the international arena”, the Southern neighbor receives our delegation at the highest level. Probably, in such a situation, real allies are known.