Irek Zinnurov leaving State Duma for humanitarian mission in Azerbaijan

Zinnurov might head to Azerbaijan right now

State Duma deputy from Tatarstan and two-time Olympic medallist Irek Zinnurov is leaving the post of the people’s representative and will work in the Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation as head of one of the public centres. He will deal with improving relations between Russia and Azerbaijan.

Irek Zinnurov confirmed to Realnoe Vremya the information about his departure. At the same time, he stressed that he still was a State Duma deputy — the final decision and completion of formal procedures was expected on 10 December evening.

“If I will fly to Azerbaijan today in the evening, this means I am leaving (Editor’s Note: the State Duma), it is a fact. While now I am a State Duma deputy,” Zinnurov explained.

Zinnurov is going to Azerbaijan on a humanitarian mission.

“It is the promotion of the Russian language, Russian education, Russian businesses, sport, work with regions of the Russian Federation. It is what Azerbaijan will need us and be interested in us,” Zinnurov clarified.

However, as Zinnurov emphasised, the mission has nothing to do with the consequences of the recent conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Talking about the cooperation of Azerbaijan with Russian regions, Zinnurov mentioned Tatarstan too. However, he noted that the republic actively had been working in this area previously. “In Azerbaijan, we have a diaspora of Tatars, and this work will certainly be done, and I will be pleased to continue working with our region. But now the work will be done not only with our region but also with all the regions. But since Tatarstan is a leader everywhere, I will probably consider it a region that will help me,” he explained.

Zinnurov’s substitute is KAMA TYRES’ ex-director general

Irek Zinnurov was elected to the State Duma through party list voting from United Russia. He explained that after his departure, Radik Ilyasov — former director general of KAMA TYRES and deputy of the 6th State Duma (from 2011 to 2016) is to occupy the post as deputy. During his previous term in the Duma, Ilyasov worked in the State Duma’s Committee for Transport. Ilyasov explained to Realnoe Vremya that he was aware of Zinnurov’s plans to leave the State Duma (it was rumoured as early as in September), but he didn’t receive official information yet. However, he noted that in case of receiving an official offer of the deputy’s seat, he is ready to go to Moscow and occupy the chair in the State Duma.

By Aleksandr Artemyev

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