On 20 February, the Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan adopted a decision to purchase for demolition 2,010 residential and non-residential buildings in the Sovetski neighborhood of Baku.
In October 2017, local authorities announced that they had received orders from President Ilham Aliyev to purchase the buildings and carry out the demolitions by 2018. The city’s Executive Authority plans to use the site to lay new communication lines and build parks, residential buildings, sports complexes, new roads, and parking lots.
As for the amount of compensation offered to residents, according to construction expert Elnur Farzaliyev, authorities do not take market prices into account. Instead, the state sets the price: “During a demolition carried out by the state, compensation is 1,500 manats ($880) per square meter of residential space, and 1,000 manats ($590) per square meter for non-residential areas,” he said.
This is the second wave of demolitions in the historic Sovetski neighborhood. In the first wave, which ended in August 2017, 4,300 families were relocated. Many residents and owners of real estate were dissatisfied with the compensation and appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). In November 2017, the ECHR began to investigate 120 complaints from Azerbaijan related to demolitions.