Sergei Baburin

Former Rector of the Russian State University of Trade and Economics

During my years in politics, I met with different politicians. Among them were many famous and prominent people. However, I can say without exaggeration that Heydar Aliyev was the brightest and wisest politician in the true sense of the word. Heydar Aliyev was such a principled figure in the Soviet era that his removal from the leadership of the Soviet Union was one of the main reasons for the collapse of the USSR.

Later, when he returned to big politics, we already met with him as the President of Azerbaijan, and I was convinced that he is a person who can be the honor of every nation. Only in the future will we be able to fully appreciate both his contribution to the development of Azerbaijan and the significance of all the work he did in the Soviet Union.

I met Heydar Aliyev in the 1990s in Azerbaijan and Moscow as a representative of the Russian parliament. Many believe that Azerbaijan has moved away from Russia and turned to the West. I assure you that it is not. We talked a lot with Heydar Aliyev, and I can say without exaggeration that he is the wisest leader among all the presidents of the former Soviet Union. Some of the steps taken by him in relation to Russia were associated with the actions of the Russian leadership at that time as a necessary measure. His great merit is to save the republic and not let it perish in the whirlwind of civil war. Simply put, he was a high-level politician. After all, everything is known in comparison. For example, compared to M. Gorbachev, Heydar Aliyev is a great personality, while Gorbachev was in many aspects an accidental person who turned out at the top of the power pyramid.

I sincerely wish the current leadership of Azerbaijan to continue the policy of Heydar Aliyev and ensure peace in the republic and the territorial integrity of the country. I wish more strong cooperation with the Russian Federation, because Russia has changed now, it is no longer the same country that it was 10 years ago. Today our doors are open for mutual friendship, brotherhood, and partnership.