Russia, as a dominant northern neighbor, also influenced the Azerbaijani cuisine on a national scale. The northern part of Azerbaijan offers a large variety of dishes adopted from the Russian cuisine, mostly as far as meat products are concerned. Agriculture has always been used extensively in Azerbaijan and wheat, rye, oats and millet were the main ingredients for any meal for centuries. Bread was and still is one of the food elements that are never absent from a Azerbaijan meal. Bread is used with soup and the main course, although sometimes it may be left aside if the dish contains potatoes or pasta. Bakery was also present since immemorial times and all grain based food products used in the past are still present today, in one form or another. Georgian influences from the northwest are also present, together with Armenian ones from the western area. Although many Georgian and Armenian dishes don’t spread all the way to the center or the eastern part of Azerbaijan, they are quite popular in the cities and towns around the borders with these neighbors. The Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic (an exclave of Azerbaijan) borders Armenia to the north and east, Iran to the south and west, and Turkey to the northwest.