Tuesday, April 30, 2019

60 Percent of 500,000 Azerbaijanis in Ukraine are Ukrainian Citizens, Leader Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 29 – Sixty percent of the roughly half million Azerbaijanis living in Ukraine are citizens of that country and committed to its defense and well-being, Rovshan Tagiyev, the president of the Congress of Azerbaijanis of Ukraine and head of the Assembly of Nationalities of Ukraine.

            The other 200,000 Azerbaijanis in Ukraine have residence permits and many are working toward becoming citizens as well, the Azerbaijani leader says, taking pride in the fact that his community is “one of the most numerous diasporas in Ukraine” (yenicag.ru/rol-mesto-i-ves-azerbaydzhanskoy-dias/293866/).

            “Over the course of many years,” he continues, “Azerbaijanis were not very active in the social-political life of the country, but with the beginning of the formation of Azerbaijani pubic organizations, a development which began at the end of the 1990s, they have begun to display ever greater activity.”

            Tagiyev says that he can assert without any doubts that “the position of the Azerbaijani diaspora coincides with the interests of Ukraine since the integrity of the Ukrainian state is the main and key thing for it. In fact, we understand and feel all that is taking place now in Ukraine no less well than Ukrainians.”

                That is because “we dealt with the very same problems, the problems of separatism which grew into the occupation by Armenia with the help of the Russian Federation of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjoining districts.”

            Consequently, “we will never allow ourselves to assert that a civil war is taking place in Ukraine. This isn’t true: there is instead a direct invasion of Ukraine by Russia.  The international community will never recognize the occupation of Ukrainian territories, and the Azerbaijanis will never recognize it as well.”

            “I am certain that a time will come and we will be able to restore relations between Russia and Ukraine,” Tagiyev says. “But only in the interests of Ukraine. The territorial integrity of our country must be restored, for any war sooner or later will end with a peace.”

            In his words, “Ukraine has enormous potential to become one of the leading states of Europe. We must simply today and say a clear ‘stop!’ to the chief internal enemy of Ukraine – corruption. Let us together defeat it and then in less then ten years Ukraine will be a flourishing state. I do not doubt that for a second.”

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