To date the material damage, inflicted on Azerbaijan as a result of occupation of its territories by Armenia has exceeded $300 billion, Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of State Committee for deals of Refugees and IDPs, Ali Hasanov told journalists on Dec. 10.
He said that according to earlier estimates, the damage inflicted on Azerbaijan amounted to $60 billion. But, in accordance with international standards of counting the real sum of the damage is equal to five times that amount.
"At that time we even did not know how such damage is being calculated in the world. We appealed to the International Society of Appraisers in accordance with the Azerbaijani president's instructions. Azerbaijan has been working with this organization for two years. The society found that to date the amount of property damage inflicted on Azerbaijan as a result of occupation of its lands by Armenia exceeds $300 billion," the deputy PM said. "Azerbaijan has the right at any time to demand Armenia compensate for damages, which is provided by international law. If Armenia chooses the right path, Azerbaijan may make certain concessions in connection with the payment of compensation. Otherwise, Azerbaijan will naturally require Armenia to pay the damage inflicted".
Hasanov did not rule out that, if necessary, changes can be made to the country's laws with regard to the occupied territories.
"There are international legal norms, documents, conventions on the requirements for the liberation of the occupied lands and payment of damages. We joined all these conventions. The issues related to this are reflected in the national legislation of Azerbaijan. We have sufficient laws to address the social problems of refugees and internally displaced persons, as well as to address these issues, which are based on international conventions. But over time, if necessary, certain changes and additions can be made to these laws. This is a normal practice," Hasanov said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994.The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France and the U.S. - are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented four U.N. Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.