Special Representative of the President of Russia: Ilham Aliyev's opinion carries much weight among leaders of the G7 countries

Mikhail Shvydkoy, Russian President

© APA | Mikhail Shvydkoy, Russian President's Special Representative for International Cultural Cooperation

# 24 December 2021 11:20 (UTC +04:00)

Mikhail Shvydkoy, Russian President's Special Representative for International Cultural Cooperation, gave an interview to APA's Moscow correspondent.

Mikhail Efimovich, you have repeatedly met with the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev. And during the period of work as Minister of Culture of Russia, and after ... We also met last month. I would like to hear your impressions of the meeting.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev is a man with amazing qualities and an impeccable upbringing. When you talk to him, you see that he is completely honest. The events of recent years have shown that this man has a great will, a great state temperament. This is very important. I think that the leader of the country can not do without temperament at all. In this sense, Ilham Aliyev is a combination of absolute, delicate intelligence and amazingly strong willpower. Heydar Aliyev was proud of his son. If he had witnessed the current events, in general, what happened in Azerbaijan during Ilham Aliyev's presidency, he would have been doubly proud of his son. It is really difficult to compare with a strong, brilliant father like Heydar Aliyev. Heydar Aliyev saved Azerbaijan. Life and experience have shown that Ilham Aliyev learned his father's lessons, experience and wisdom at the highest level. The events of recent years show that Ilham Aliyev's name is already written in history. I think that Ilham Aliyev's place in the history of Azerbaijan is at the highest level for the country. Life is fast, it seems to me that Ilham Aliyev sharply feels that time is moving fast and that the current political trends in the modern world are multi-vector. It is very important for us that Azerbaijan and Russia are strategic partners. Of course, it is very important for us to have friendly, humane and state relations between Vladimir Putin and Ilham Aliyev. In this sense, the deep contacts between the leaders of our countries determine many things. It is clear that the world is different and changing rapidly. I am confident that relations between Russia and Azerbaijan will remain unchanged.

Let me mention one more important point. Ilham Aliyev has a wonderful family. The role played by Mehriban Aliyeva in the life of Azerbaijan is highly important and I would say it is unique. Therefore, congratulating Ilham Aliyev on his 60th anniversary, I would also like to congratulate all of us. Because his anniversary is not celebrated only in Azerbaijan. It is also celebrated in Russia, and most importantly, it is celebrated sincerely. I am sure that the Republic of Azerbaijan has many bright and magnificent pages ahead. The country has been developing very intensively for the last 10 years. This development has affected every area - demography, infrastructure, the country's role in the international arena. I am confident that a bright and interesting life awaits Azerbaijan, which will ensure stability in the Caucasus. I think this is very important for Ilham Aliyev and the people of Azerbaijan. We are happy with the success of the Azerbaijani people. We are glad that a bright, deep, wise and strong-willed leader like Ilham Aliyev has stood at the head of the country during these difficult years.

How would you characterize Ilham Aliyev as a political leader and diplomat? What features of it stand out the most?

You know, in Soviet terminology there is the term "political heavyweight". Of course, Ilham Aliyev is a political heavyweight. He is a politician who analyzes the international situation very seriously. Ilham Aliyev's opinion carries much weight among leaders of various countries, including the G7. Ilham Aliyev is a heavy-handed politician who really knows what he wants for his country. He knows what interests Azerbaijan has. Ilham Aliyev understands the place of Azerbaijan on the geopolitical map. I think that his very serious and in-depth analysis of what happened distinguishes him. He is also distinguished by being a real strong-willed leader of the country. I think the combination of high intelligence and will is the distinguishing feature of Ilham Aliyev. These features are very important in modern times.

Last year, the Russian public got to know Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev better. During the known war, the President of Azerbaijan gave many interviews to the Russian media. Experts say that at that time, Ilham Aliyev waged an international information war alone. It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on this.

You know, it seems to me that leaders on the scale of Ilham Aliyev and Vladimir Putin also carry the burden of information on the agenda. In this sense, Ilham Aliyev's interviews and speeches last year, of course, played a decisive role. The world media, domestic media, including the Russian media, focused on these speeches. In this sense, Ilham Aliyev has become an important leader of the information agenda. Not only in the last two years or during the crisis with Armenia, but I would also say that Ilham Aliyev has been setting the agenda for 10 years. He has been on the agenda since he became President of Azerbaijan. The information work done by Ilham Aliyev is very important. Because he also represents Azerbaijan in the international arena. This is natural. Because Ilham Aliyev is a real state leader, a real leader of his people.

Ilham Aliyev's attention in the field of culture is obvious. How do you assess this as a cultural figure?

Baku is proof of the high level of respect, attention, and care of the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev for culture. When you come to Baku, when you see the serious and deep approach to architecture and cultural monuments, you understand how much attention the head of state pays to culture. Of course, the great cultural traditions of Azerbaijan are not limited to the capital Baku. Cultural development is also evident in the country's regions. Investments in cultural infrastructure in recent years are proof of this.