Heydar Aliyev played huge role in Azerbaijan becoming economically, politically strong - Russian analyst
Heydar Aliyev played a huge role in Azerbaijan becoming an economically and politically strong country, which liberated its territories from Armenian occupation [in the 2020 second Karabakh war], Director of the Russian Institute for Political Studies Sergey Markov told Trend.
According to Markov, Heydar Aliyev, in his time, fulfilled several important tasks.
"Firstly, Heydar Aliyev stopped the civil war that was going on in Azerbaijan. We remember the radicals from the Popular Front party. Heydar Aliyev stopped this civil war,” he said. “The second historical task fulfilled by Heydar Aliyev was stopping the war with Armenia using his diplomatic talents, working with the leadership of Russia, Turkey, the US, the Europeans.”
According to the expert, the third task implemented by Heydar Aliyev was the establishment of a new statehood in Azerbaijan.
"On the ruins of the Soviet statehood and the state which the radicals from the Popular Front tried to build, Heydar Aliyev created a new statehood. Relying on his wisdom as a statesman and the support of the absolute majority of Azerbaijani citizens, Heydar Aliyev was able to rapidly establish a strong and stable political institution,” Markov noted.
“The fourth task, which was carried out by Heydar Aliyev was the establishment of a very perspective balance between secular statehood and Islamic tradition,” he said. “The problem of the relationship between secular state institutions and Islamic tradition is one of the most difficult problems for all countries where the majority of the population belongs to Islamic culture. Many states fail to keep the balance.”
“However, Heydar Aliyev was able to widely apply the Turkish experience of combining Islamic tradition and secular statehood, and thus political stability was guaranteed in Azerbaijan," he noted.
According to Markov, Heydar Aliyev also succeeded in establishing Azerbaijan's foreign policy.
"Heydar Aliyev was able to establish allied relations with Turkey, which helped Azerbaijan in everything, good, friendly and partnership relations with Russia and at the same time calm, partnership relations with the US and the European Union," Markov said.
Further, another important achievement was the development of an energy strategy and the creation of an effective source of funds for the state budget of Azerbaijan.
"This was done thanks to "Contract of the Century", all points of which were precisely worked out. Its essence is that Heydar Aliyev was able to simultaneously attract investments and technologies from the largest Western corporations to develop Azerbaijan's oil and gas fields, and at the same time, with the help of Western corporations, get share for Azerbaijani oil and gas,” Markov said. “At the same time, Heydar Aliyev was able to retain a controlling stake and major part of the revenues from the production and sale of oil and gas for the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan.”
“As a result, Azerbaijan avoided the trap, into which many countries without own large companies and technologies fall when Western corporations come and start developing deposits, but at the same time keep almost all the profits for themselves,” the expert said. “Heydar Aliyev was able to avoid this trap, and Azerbaijan simultaneously received investments, technologies and markets from Western corporations, but simultaneously retained the main incomes and control.”
According to Markov, Heydar Aliyev's policy was fully continued by President Ilham Aliyev.
"President Ilham Aliyev was able to ensure crisis-free, stable operation of the entire oil and gas sector of Azerbaijan, which made the country one of the most reliable energy suppliers on the market. Due to this, President Ilham Aliyev was able to ensure very high economic growth rates in Azerbaijan, and to significantly curb the corruption which often rages in many states,” Markov said.
“As a result, the money from Azerbaijani oil and gas went not to pockets of corrupt officials, but to the budget and was used as much as possible to solve social problems, build infrastructure and create a strong army. This strong army was eventually able to achieve a tremendous victory over Armenia in the second Karabakh war and liberate the occupied lands," he said.
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