Mikhail Shvydkoy: "Ilham Aliyev's peace initiative is very important"

Mikhail Shvydkoy, Special Representative of the Russian President for International Cultural Cooperation

© APA | Mikhail Shvydkoy, Special Representative of the Russian President for International Cultural Cooperation

# 23 December 2021 15:25 (UTC +04:00)

"I think that dialogue between civil societies of Azerbaijan and Armenia is very important for Russia. I think that it is not possible to achieve anything without establishing such a proper atmosphere. At least, both societies must have this concept that "we are neighbors and can not change the world map". As my friend Polad Bulbuoglu said geography is also destiny, said the Special Representative of the Russian President for International Cultural Cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoy in an interview with APA's Moscow bureau.

Mikhail Shvydkoy considers that neighbors must mutually respect each other, at least must be in a neutral attitude: "This is very important. It is understandable that all military conflicts, moreover, conflicts that have just ended and are still echoing, create a certain atmosphere in the societies. Russia's position here is very simple. It is very important for us that dialogue should be started among Azerbaijani and Armenian people".

Mikhail Shvydkoy commenting on the proposal of the Azerbaijani President to Armenia to sign a peace agreement said that the highest form of relations between states is a peace agreement: "This is very important. We have large experience in this regard. Not signing a peace agreement with Japan always makes relations between our countries very difficult. Ilham Aliyev's peace agreement is very important. Because I once again repeat that peace agreement is the highest form of interstate relations, which gives opportunity to countries to successfully develop. I hope that this will happen between Azerbaijan and Armenia. However, this requires a lot of time and effort, and most importantly, goodwill".

Answering the question of "The war is over, it is a post-war period. In response to the question "What steps do you think can be taken to normalize relations between the two peoples in the region?", The special envoy of the Russian President said that the current processes are very important: After the collapse of the Soviet Union - more than 30 years later - it is clear that the borders were not defined correctly. Therefore, the delimitation and demarcation of borders between the two countries are important. This is the first step. The second step is to clear the mined areas in parallel with this process. Fate led me and Polad Bulbuloglu to cross the line of contact. We passed through mined areas at that time. I must say that crossing mined areas is not a pleasant thing. Even for people with great experience ... Therefore, it is important to clear the area of ​​mines so that civilians do not die.

Another important step is the restoration of the South Caucasus region, the transport artery between Azerbaijan and Armenia. I know that your neighbor finds the word "corridor" very painful. However, the restoration of transport communications is very important. As soon as it is restored, trade, mutual exchange will begin and some common economic projects will be realized. With that, everything will fall into place. It takes time. Of course, humanitarian issues are very important here. We need to start a dialogue between people. Nothing will be gained without dialogue."

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