President Vladimir Putin: In conclusion, I would like to discuss a number of issues that were mentioned here, and which I think are important and vital. First of all, I noted to myself that the Chairman [of the Congress] said that even the restaurant Baku no longer exists in Moscow. I wrote “Who is to blame?”, but the mayor has already answered.
But if we return to several serious, vital issues, then undoubtedly one of them today – and we must return to this issue again – is the manifestation of xenophobia. This is a signal of pain. It means that something is wrong here, that we make errors and mistakes in our work. And we must think and analyse the situation, and above all react harshly to it.
Undoubtedly, the politics of the state will be to prevent any manifestations of this kind, consistently and harshly. This is particularly important for Russia – a country with a diversity of ethnicities and religions.
For us, achieving inter-ethnic harmony in Russia is a fundamental condition for the country’s existence. But we also need to remember something else: we must create and learn to use modern and democratic, but strict laws that regulate various spheres of our activity, including the immigration sphere.
More than any other country in the CIS, Russia is interested in ensuring freedom of movement for people in the post-Soviet area. At the same time, we must think about the interests of people who do not go anywhere and live in their homes. And you also understand this. We must learn ourselves, and must teach all our citizens, regardless of their ethnicity, to observe the law of the country that they live in. This concerns Russia, and it also concerns Azerbaijan, and any other country. And I must stress that the state alone will not fulfil this task effectively. Here the support of public organisations is also needed, including organisations such as your own.
And last of all: as the chairman said, our goal is to lobby the interests of Azerbaijan in Russia and the interests of Azerbaijan in Russia. I fully support this, especially lobbying Russia’s interests in Azerbaijan. I wish you success!
But the most important thing is that we must work every day on developing our countries, and developing the economies and cultures of Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation.
And finally, the most important thing of all: the result of our work together, every day, must be to create an atmosphere and relations between our countries and peoples which inseparably link the peoples of the Russian Federation and Azerbaijan, and link them for a long, long time, for many years to come!