Azerbaijan was the first country in the East to embark upon the path of independence and democracy in the beginning of the 20th century. The long-awaited restoration of independence in the 90s was marked by a quantum leap in the country’s social and political life. Weakness and frailty of the imperial policy manifested itself against the background of the peoples’ liberation movements, and the collapse of the Soviet Union paved the way for the people’s mobilization for the creation of democratic institutions. Azerbaijan, as other post-Soviet republics which proclaimed independence, preferred to decide its destiny at its own discretion and get to know the experience of the world’s leading democratic countries. In this respect the independent Republic of Azerbaijan has come a long way full of struggle, but despite all challenges and restrictions, was able to continue the policy of independent nation building. One of the multiple manifestations of this was the development of the country’s railway transport.
Azerbaijan's economy entered a new stage of development. The country, which is mainly known in the world arena as oil exporter, has a wide potential for the development of light and heavy industry and agriculture. But the implementation of this will take Azerbaijan, which has only recently started its integration into the international structures, a lot of time. That being said, current direction of the economy and intensive struggle for its survival strengthen the belief that the country will turn into a powerful state in the future.
It should be noted that in the first years after the restoration of independence our country was subject to transport blockade, which nearly paralyzed the railway transport as well. But in the shortest possible time all this became a thing of the past. The Azerbaijan railways managed to integrate into the global transport system and were admitted to membership of many international organizations. Since 1992 Azerbaijan has been a member of the Railway Transport Council of the CIS and Baltic States, since 1993 – the member of Organization for Cooperation of Railways, and since 1995 – the member of the International Union of Railways. A lot of international railway forums have been held in Baku since 1997. This is a clear indicator of Azerbaijan railways’ increased influence and of the country’s transformation into the venue for international events.
The independent Republic of Azerbaijan, involved in broad international cooperation, is always committed to further deepening of political and economic relations with the progressive states of the world and, being a member of all influential international organizations, undertakes efficient activities there.