People from former Soviet republics are moving into Russia
Many people of Azeri nationality live throughout Russia, and the city of Ivanovo is no exception. All the discussions that take place regarding cooperation with Azerbaijan are due to the need to take into account the Azeri diaspora, its wishes and sentiments. This causes the Ivanovo region to have links with Azerbaijan.
Links can be cultural and commercial. Naturally, cultural links are necessary only for people from Azerbaijan only, not for Russians, Ukrainians, Belorussians and so on, save for ones that derive from Islam. (However, this last does not seem to be important, for Ivanovo-based Muslims, for instance, have not built a mosque in the city — the Azeri diaspora is more drawn to commercial activity.)
The presence of thousands of people from another country in the Ivanovo region requires certain justifications. Industries in the Ivanovo region do not need anyone from Azerbaijan, so the latter are obliged to deal with retail sales or the connected criminal business. The Ivanovo region does not need a labor force in the field of commerce, and the maximum number of Azeris allowed to be present in the region has been exceeded by tens and hundreds of times.
There are two kinds of regulated immigration, one caused by a need for labor resources, and other by a need of increasing ethnic diversity. The situation is perfectly clear when it comes to labor resources. In addition, many European countries deliberately grant access to their foreigners of another physical group, usually of a southern one. Holland, for example, uses residents of its former colony, Surinam, for those purposes. This is connected with the problem of national degeneration. Old nations tend to degenerate: when residents of several villages marry each other for decades, this is like incest lasting over a century.
Such a problem is not a real one for Russia. There are many nationalities living on the territory of the Russian Federation of various sorts. The Russian nation is not imperiled with a degeneration problem, and Russians do not need fresh blood to renew their genes. In other words, there are no reasons to develop links with the republic of Azerbaijan. Furthermore, there are no reasons for the people of Azerbaijan to be present in the Ivanovo region. Yet, the contrary is the case.
Commercial ties with Azerbaijan are rather illusory. In addition, business does not depend on a diaspora. On the other hand, a diaspora often causes a need to search for such business. Therefore, this business will be artificial and useless.
The Azeri ambassador has recently visited the Ivanovo region and put forward the suggestion that Azeri students might study at Ivanovo high schools. The city of Ivanovo is full of high schools. This educational program (if it is one day implemented) will serve as another excuse for the presence of Azeri nationals on the territory of the Ivanovo region. Of course, these will not be Azeri engineers, teachers and doctors — simply more technically qualified Azeri people. The high schools will receive the money to supply that education, while the regional budget of the region will get another problem.
The absence of a visa-entry regime between Russia and Azerbaijan is the reason for the large Azeri diaspora in the region. Something has to be done about it — to create most favorable conditions for them, for example, which is exactly what the regional authorities are doing. In fact, there is no need for it at all — it is because of circumstances only.
The point of the state is to overcome negative trends and get rid of unfavorable circumstances. However, being politically correct in the Russian way requires a special attitude to former Soviet republics. There are independent kings, shahs, presidents and the like, but all of them acknowledge the power of the emperor only. The visa-free entry regime is the incarnation of the power of the Russian emperor, while the abolishment of a visa-free regime (as took place between Russia and Georgia) is s display of the monarchical disfavor, a punishment. Nevertheless, the possibility of visa-free entry to Russian territory does not stop people from loving another empire — the United States. Russia is used for regulating the pressure of domestic conflicts and creating a flow of labor and criminal resources — for someone else's purposes, of course, never for the purposes of the Ivanovo region, for instance.