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Red light on the Russian-Azeri border2012-09-18 20:11
A line of buses and cars has accumulated on the Azerbaijani side of the Russian-Azerbaijani border. More than 50 buses, heading to different cities of Russia, have stuck here. According to Sahib Aliyev, one of the passengers, they were told that the reason for the delay was the refusal of the Russian side to take the cars. "For the whole day only several cars have passed; and even less in the night. Weather is hot; our water and food reserves are ending. There are ill and elderly people. Some families are with small children", complains Aliyev.
A driver of the truck Magomedrasul Mamedov does not hide his anger. "Azerbaijanis say that all arose because Russia cannot cope with the flow of the cars. The latter, in turn, blames the Azerbaijani side. And we suffer. We don't care who is to blame. They could not establish a normal work? I've been stuck here for three days. Goods in the truck are getting spoilt", Mamedov says.
"I have been here for three days", says an elderly woman, who asked not to be named. "I have a bad heart. Products are ending. Nobody can say how much we have to stand here. Perhaps, there are no places in the world where the people are treated this way".
When asked about the causes of the queue the manager of the Samukh checkpoint Hussein Masimov said that their side has done everything to avoid such situations. "We are promptly checking and passing the cars. We have established all necessary conditions. We have properly trained personnel equipped with all necessary equipment. Unfortunately, traffic jam occurs on the Russian side of the border; and we have to stop the flow from our side", Masimov says.
An expert Soltan Agayev recalls that such situations occur quite frequently. It is rather difficult to forecast them and find out the real causes. According to him, on both sides of the border there are good conditions for work. Border guards and customs officials if they wish can provide passage of the twice larger flow of the people and vehicles. Jams do occur out of the blue. "I do not rule out the presence of the human factor", the expert concludes.
According to Agayev, thirst for personal gain affects the situation. "All those who have passed through this border, they know the methods of the extortionists in the power. Often, they cavil at trifles, even if a trifle cannot be the cause of some delay. In these cases, carrying capacity falls, which contributes to unnecessary jams at the border, which is why people have to stand here for days".
A psychologist Gulshan Gurbanova believes that the people working at the border are good in psychology. "My friends told how aggressively they extorted money at the border. Earlier they did it openly, but recently they started using more sophisticated methods. None Caucasian man with his family would wait for so long at the border, if he can pay and pass. Unfortunately, unscrupulous employees enjoy these moment".
According to Gulshan Gurbanova, to address this issue, there must be established a joint Russian-Azerbaijani commission: customs employees should feel the attention of relevant bodies and understand that violation of the regime could cost them their job. This is the minimum punishment. "In addition, in order to avoid leakage of information, the commission should be created without the participation of the authorities responsible for the situation on the border. Results of the work may be reported to the higher authorities and the media. I think in this case, the relevant authorities would take the necessary measures; and the citizens of both countries would be able to cross the border without artificial incidents, taking place today", Gurbanova concludes.
Passage via the border on foot is easy and not time consuming. As for the cars, dozens of them and hundreds of people are waiting in the line. And each of them hopes that the next time it will be easier to cross the border.