Azerbaijan's Deputy Prime Minister Ali Hasanov has estimated the financial damage caused to Azerbaijan by Armenia to be $300 billion.
Hasanov, who also chairs the state committee for refugees and internally displaced persons, told the country's Lider television station that these figures came from a report compiled by international organizations that specialize in analyzing the situation in conflict-stricken countries, Kyiv Post reports.
"We have involved representatives of evaluation associations from Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and other countries," he said.
"They have assessed this damage at $300 billion. Their evaluations take account of the property left on the occupied territories and the profit that Azerbaijan could have earned in the past 20 years by using this property. But these figures are not final. I believe that all the calculations will be completed in the near future. In any case, today this damage has been estimated at $300 billion," Hasanov stressed.
In accordance with international law, Azerbaijan has every right to demand that Armenia pay compensation, he noted.
"This will happen. If Armenia continues to follow its unconstructive policy, Azerbaijan will take such measures. But if they change their policy and take a constructive approach, and if a peace treaty is signed, we may agree to grant them certain concessions," he said.
Note: 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. It gradually grew into an increasingly violent conflict between ethnic Armenians and ethnic Azerbaijanis, resulting in claims of ethnic cleansing by both sides.
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.