The Azerbaijani government said on Friday it will appeal to international bodies to press for as much as $300 billion in compensation for that it regards as damage inflicted on Azerbaijan by Armenia in the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Ali Hasanov, the head of a government agency dealing with refugees and internally displaced persons, said the sum worth more than four times his nation’s GDP is only a preliminary estimate that will likely rise.
The Trend news agency quoted Hasanov saying that Baku previously estimated the cost of the “Armenian occupation” at $60-70 billion. “But Milli Mejlis [parliament] deputy Khanhusein Kazimli proposed that we again calculate the damage with the help of international rating agencies,” he said. “The head of state [Ilham Aliyev] instructed us to look into this issue. A number of actions have been taken, and this process is continuing.”
“The government of Azerbaijan will submit these demands to international organizations. Can Armenia pay up? This remains a big question,” added Hasanov. He did not clarify which international bodies will be asked to deal with Baku’s demands.
According to Trend, Hasanov said Baku is ready to make “some concessions” on the matter if the Armenian side adopts a “constructive position” in the long-running peace talks on the Karabakh conflict.
Armenia, whose annual state budget is worth less than $3 billion, is certain to laugh off the Azerbaijani claims. Yerevan has always said that the 1991-1994 war in Karabakh was the result of Baku’s attempt to forcibly regain control over the disputed territory and drive out its ethnic Armenian majority.