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17 Nov, 2020 15:33

Azerbaijan to demand compensation from Armenia after finding destroyed infrastructure in areas won during Nagorno-Karabakh war

Azerbaijan to demand compensation from Armenia after finding destroyed infrastructure in areas won during Nagorno-Karabakh war

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has demanded that Armenia pays compensation for damage to infrastructure and buildings in territories re-acquired by Baku, after the recent Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The president has accused Yerevan of destroying property before withdrawing from the areas under the terms of the armistice brokered by Moscow last week.

"We are in the center of the city of Jabrayil. There is not a single complete building, not a single one!" Aliyev explained on Monday. "Only the military part was built, the rest of the infrastructure – houses, buildings, schools – everything was destroyed."

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Aliyev promised that Yerevan would be held responsible for the destroyed property "in international courts," noting that the Armenians also felled forests on their way out.

"I want to repeat again that international structures and experts will be involved, all the damage will be calculated, and we will demand compensation for 30 years," he said.

Azerbaijani Deputy Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Vugar Kerimov also joined in, accusing the Armenians of "genocide against nature" in Nagorno-Karabakh.

In the days after the agreement to retreat, videos emerged on social media of Nagorno-Karabakh residents burning their property to stop it from falling into Azeri hands.

On November 9, Aliyev signed a ceasefire with the leaders of Armenia and Russia, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and President Vladimir Putin. According to the agreement, areas captured by Baku are to remain under the control of Azerbaijan, with three other regions due to be given to the Azeris at a later date.

By November 20, Azerbaijan is to gain control of the Agdam district, with the districts of Kalbajar and Lachin to become Azerbaijani on November 25 and December 1, respectively. Russian peacekeepers will also be deployed.

On September 27, the frozen Nagorno-Karabakh conflict suddenly erupted once again. The dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia is decades old, with both countries believing they have legitimate claims to the territory. The region is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but is primarily populated by ethnic Armenians. Baku had always considered the enclave to be illegally occupied by Yerevan. 

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