"We are still at the beginning of the road to clear the area of mines. We have cleared only a few thousand hectares. I have instructed the formation of new military units, new engineering and sapper battalions of the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan, said Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev at the press conference held in a video format for local and foreign journalists, APA reports.
The President noted that these units have already been formed: “Recently, we have received modern equipment from Turkey, which has already been delivered. This technique will greatly facilitate our work. In parallel, I recently signed an order on the establishment of the State Agency for Mine Action. Previously, the status of our existing institution called ANAMA was very uncertain. It was established under the existing commission for the restoration of the liberated territories. To strengthen this work, we have created a state body, which has already been formed. For the effective operation of the agency, we will allocate about 100 million manat in this year's investment program. This includes the most modern equipment, remote-sensing robots and mine-clearing machines. That is, we will try to do this as much as possible. The first direction is the Ministry of Defense, the second direction is the Mine Action Agency. In addition, immediately after the end of the war, more than 100 specialists from the Turkish Defense Ministry were sent to participate in the demining of the area and conduct trainings for our sappers. A group of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations is also involved in clearing the territory of the Aghdam region from mines. The main activity of the group of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations is related to the area of responsibility of Russian peacekeepers, but they are also involved here. We are currently negotiating with several companies with experience in this area, but these negotiations are not over yet. But we will make the most of all opportunities. By the way, I also told the person appointed to the post of head of the agency that we want Azerbaijani companies to participate in this work, because this work, unfortunately, is not a matter of a year. The area to be cleared of mines is quite large. Therefore, local companies should join this work. "
The head of state noted that there is a methodology and first of all, there is international experience on where and how to clear mines: “This includes communications, settlements and places for agricultural activities. By the way, we have already started agricultural activities in the liberated territories, autumn wheat has been planted on more than 7,000 hectares. To do this, the area was first cleared of mines. Thus, we are ready for broad international cooperation. I know that there are a lot of offers from different companies. However, as in a number of other issues, there are two main factors - quality and price. Together, these two factors will be the main condition for us to prefer this or that company.
As for your other question about the participation of Russian companies in the restoration work, I have already made a statement about it. We will attract companies from friendly countries. Russia and Azerbaijan are friendly countries. Therefore, of course, Russian companies will be involved. I think they can show interest themselves. Because we receive orders from different countries for certain types of work. This is due to the planning of cities, the construction of facilities, including infrastructure, roads, bridges, power plants. That is, the scope of work is very large. More than 10,000 square kilometers have been liberated. Therefore, I think there is enough work for all the friends of Azerbaijan. "