On November 23, inauguration of the Azerbaijani pavilion - basically restored and repaired - took place at the Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy in Moscow.
First Vice-president of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva, who was on an official visit to Moscow, Vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva and Chairperson of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation’s Federal Assembly Valentina Matvienko attended the ceremony.
First Vice-president Mehriban Aliyeva addressed the ceremony:
Dear friends, I want to welcome you to the ceremony of inaugurating the pavilion “Azerbaijan” at the Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy. Congratulations on the 80th anniversary of this legendary exhibition space.
First, I would like to deeply thank respected Valentina Ivanovna for attending the inauguration of our national pavilion, and for her sincere and kind relations with our country. I am pleased to welcome all the Russian guests participating in today’s event. I am glad to see our fellow countrymen too.
The Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy is a unique exhibition village, listed among the 50 biggest exhibition places in the world. Some 30 million people visit the Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy each year. Today, I feel proud to witness the inauguration of the national pavilion “Azerbaijan” in this historical architectural centre of Moscow.
The pavilion opens its doors before all visitors. I want to thank the leadership of the Russian Federation, President Vladimir Putin, the Government of the Moscow city, Mayor of Moscow mister Sobyanin for allowing our country to participate in the restoration of the national pavilion.
The pavilion “Azerbaijan” was created in 1939 on the basis of a project by renowned Azerbaijani architects Sadyg Dadashov and Mikayil Useynov. Following years, as a number of other pavilions on the territory of the Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy, this pavilion too was subjected to many alterations, and was rebuilt. For example, in 1966, the facade of this rare architectural building was covered with a metal box, which, without a doubt, changed its image completely. In short, following years, the pavilion lost its architectural, functional and national identities. In 2014, when, following the initiative of the Moscow city, former Soviet republics were proposed to participate in the restoration of their national pavilions, Azerbaijan accepted this offer with great excitement and started restoration works in 2017 after the preparation works. Restoration works at the pavilion were carried out with the support of the state of Azerbaijan and under the leadership of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. A task had been set to return the original architectural and ethnic image of the building. Strenuous works were carried out, and best specialists, architects, artists, restorers, cultural historians from Azerbaijan and Russia were invited. Today, we see the outcome. We see the authenticity of the completely restored building. Without a doubt, this beautiful complex is the result of a teamwork. I want to thank all who have made their contributions to the restoration of our national pavilion.
Along with restoring the outer appearance, the pavilion “Azerbaijan” got also another content. Here, visitors of our pavilion can become acquainted with the rich, centuries-long history, culture and traditions of our nation, at the same time, receive information about independent Azerbaijan, its achievements in public, political, economic and humanitarian areas. Without a doubt, the events, meetings and exhibitions to be arranged in this place will serve the strengthening of friendly relations between Russia and Azerbaijan.
The ties between Russia and Azerbaijan are relying on old and strong friendship and kind neighbourhood relations. Today, we call our relations as strategic partnership. Taking this opportunity, I want to thank President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin for inviting me to come on an official visit to Russia and for decorating me with the order of Friendship. Receiving this order is a great honour for me, and I accept this order as one more proof of the friendly relations between Russia and Azerbaijan.
A political dialogue exists between our countries. Regular meetings are held on the level of the heads of states. Friendly relations between the presidents of Azerbaijan and the Russia Federation, relying on trust, define the dynamic and intensive advancement of our bilateral relations in almost all directions. Our successful economic cooperation yields its fruits. Russia is one of the major trade partners of Azerbaijan, holding the first place on the import of non-oil products. The commodity turnover between Russia and Azerbaijan is constantly on the rise. Last year, this index was 2.6 billion US Dollars, having increased by 19 percent, with the 26 percent growth in the course of the first nine years of the current year. It is a rejoicing fact that mutual investments’ volume is growing. Russia has been investing into the Azerbaijani economy. The volume of the Russian investment into Azerbaijan was 4.9 billion, including 1 billion US Dollar-investment into the non-oil sector. Azerbaijan’s investment into the Russian economy makes up 1.2 billion US Dollars.
The number of tourists visiting Azerbaijan is constantly growing. Last year, 900 thousand Russian tourists visited Azerbaijan, which we expect to grow in the current year.
Interregional cooperation is a significant part of our bilateral relations. Azerbaijan has established relations with over 70 subjects of the Russian Federation, in the economic and humanitarian areas. Within the framework of my visit, we, together with respected Valentina Ivanovna, are going to participate in the opening of the 10th Interregional Forum.
I want to specifically mention the humanitarian relations that bind our countries with each-other. As you know, the Russian culture and the Russian language are very well treated in Azerbaijan. Teaching the Russian language in Azerbaijan has been maintained in full. Education in 338 secondary schools is conducted in Russian, with Russian-language sections in 14 state higher schools. A pilot project is being implemented at 50 schools by the Education Ministry. Our cooperation on the level of higher education is also successful. Branches of the Lomonosov Moscow State University and the Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University are successfully operating in our capital. As of this year, joint implementation of a programme on dual masters’ diplomas of the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy and the Moscow State International Relations Institute was launched. Over 11 thousand Azerbaijanis are studying in Russia. I would like to thank the Russian Government for supporting our students’ education in Russia. The Russian community of many thousands have been contributing to the country’s general development. In short, I would not be mistaken if I say that our relations in the humanitarian sphere are exemplary.
Dear friends, I congratulate you on this significant event, the opening of the pavilion “Azerbaijan” on the territory of the Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy. I am confident the existing potential will be realized successfully in future for the good of our peoples in order to advance the Azerbaijan-Russia relations in the humanitarian sphere further. Thank you for your attention. I wish you sound health and successes. Thank you.