Azerbaijan will allocate at least $10 million to support worldwide efforts aimed at restoring war-torn territories in Ukraine, according to the country’s Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov.
Bayramov made these remarks at the Ukraine Recovery Conference (URC) 2023 in the British capital of London on Wednesday.
The minister added that Baku is also ready to supply mine clearance equipment and host Ukrainian children to aid in their recovery from the ongoing war.
On the sidelines of the URC 2023, Bayramov met with his counterpart from Kyiv, Dmytro Kuleba, to discuss issues of bilateral and regional importance.
“Azerbaijan’s post-conflict reconstruction experience is a best practice worth to be shared with other countries, including Ukraine,” Bayramov said, referring to the ongoing state-run revival campaign in the liberated lands of Azerbaijan.
The Ukraine Recovery Conference 2023, organized jointly by the UK and Ukraine, focuses on mobilizing international support for Ukraine’s stabilization and recovery from the ongoing war. The previous edition launched the Lugano Principles, guiding the reconstruction process in Ukraine and global efforts. The URC aims to provide emergency assistance and finance private sector involvement in the reconstruction.
In the meantime, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Wednesday that Azerbaijan will participate in the reconstruction campaign in the war-ravaged city of Irpin.
“Our teams are already working on the implementation of this agreement. This will be a concrete contribution to Ukraine’s post-war reconstruction,” Zelensky said during the acceptance of the Azerbaijani ambassador’s credentials in Kyiv.
Irpin, located 21 kilometers (13 miles) from Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, was at the center of a fierce Russian assault in March, 2022, shortly after the invasion began on February 24. With a population of 70,000, the town was referred to as a “gateway” to Kyiv due to its strategic location. Irpin sustained extensive shelling as Russian troops sought to tighten their hold and advance toward Kyiv.
In 2022, SOCAR Energy Ukraine, the subsidiary through which Azerbaijan’s energy conglomerate SOCAR operates in Ukraine, restored a secondary school in Irpin. The renovation work included the roof, windows, stained-glass windows, and building facade. Additionally, the school's classrooms and gym, which suffered significant damage from the explosion, were repaired, and bathrooms were installed in the bomb shelter.
Azerbaijan’s humanitarian assistance to Ukraine is not a recent development. Since the start of Russia’s “special operation” in February 2022, Kyiv has received humanitarian aid worth over $20 million from Azerbaijan. The initial shipment, consisting of medicines and medical supplies, arrived in Ukraine on February 27, 2022. Subsequent aid deliveries primarily included medications and food to support the war-torn country.
Most recently, a shipment of essential items, such as water pipes, water pumps, life jackets, inflatable boats, and wading overalls, was delivered to Ukraine on June 10, 2023. These supplies were intended for the people affected by the water dam disaster in Kakhovka, located in the Kherson region.