Vladimir Litvin 

Former Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine

It would be unfair to speak of Heydar Aliyev in the past tense. His name constitutes a bright and indelible page of our time.

There is no doubt Heydar Aliyev is an outstanding figure in the history of the Soviet Union and the new history of the post-Soviet countries, and this phenomenon originates from the depths of Eastern philosophy and enlightens the path of future generations. A man with deep intellect, wise and far-sighted statesman, Heydar Aliyev has always personified the great cultural and historical traditions of the proud Azerbaijani nation. His comparison with the famous Ataturk is another proof of this.

Leaving aside sincere non-protocol meetings, Heydar Aliyev’s brilliant political intelligence showed itself even within the protocol of official conversations. He demonstrated encyclopedic knowledge in all spheres of public life. During the dialogue, Heydar Aliyev always impressed people with his diplomatic tact and polite manner. All these qualities had a positive effect on the content and tone of communication. I am grateful to my fate for having met this person and for the opportunity to learn from Heydar Aliyev on unprecedented political wisdom, national dignity, and tolerance for other nations.

In the speech of Heydar Aliyev, you could always feel the tone of how he was thinking about his people, their well-being, social stability, and spiritual health. Heydar Aliyev’s sincere respect for the traditions of the people, the moral and cultural values of the Azerbaijani society made it possible to form the perfect philosophy of national revival.

The domestic and foreign policy of President Heydar Aliyev in the period of 1993-2003, especially his new oil strategy and the policy of reviving the ancient Silk Road, led to socio-political stability and economic growth in Azerbaijan. The democratic reforms implemented under the leadership of Heydar Aliyev strengthened deep respect for the Republic of Azerbaijan in the international community.

Heydar Aliyev sensitively understood the characteristics of the socio-economic and national-cultural processes taking place both in Soviet Ukraine and in independent Ukraine. Since the mid-90s of the 20th century, a new aspect of Ukrainian-Azerbaijani cooperation has been determined by this meaning, as well as by the sustained respect for the Ukrainian people’s centuries-old aspiration for independence. Azerbaijani-Ukrainian relations, confirmed by the moral authority of Heydar Aliyev, undoubtedly will be strengthened in the future.

I am sure that history itself gives rise to such great politicians as Heydar Aliyev. It is noteworthy that the state policy implemented by Heydar Aliyev for more than 30 years has become part of the rich history of Azerbaijan and has returned a sense of optimism to the Azerbaijani people.

The people of Ukraine have always felt and will feel the genuine sincere attitude, true friendship, and sensitive attention of Heydar Aliyev, the spiritual luminary, a giant of political thought, a strategist and the founder of modern history.

Ukraine remembers and appreciates the inexhaustible efforts and valuable support of President Heydar Aliyev for strengthening friendly relations between Ukraine and Azerbaijan as sovereign states. These relations really serve the interests of the peoples of Ukraine and Azerbaijan.

When I say Azerbaijan, in the first place, I remember Heydar Aliyev. I have been to Baku once. Until then, during interstate events, I could observe Heydar Aliyev only from afar. When we say Azerbaijan, we understand Heydar Aliyev, and when we say Heydar Aliyev, we mean Azerbaijan. I understood this, especially after direct communication with Heydar Aliyev. He was a very wise man. Orientalism and Europeanness were combined in his personality. This is a great power. When a person absorbs a variety of cultures and experiences, he can understand the trends of our difficult times. When I was in Baku, I met Ilham Aliyev and saw how worthy he was to follow his father, especially in political matters.