STEPANAKERT — Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) National Assembly on Wednesday passed in the first reading a draft law on territories occupied by Azerbaijan. The draft law, co-authored by all 5 factions of the National Assembly, was endorsed unanimously by all 31 MPs.

The draft law posted on the website of the National Assembly of Artsakh, establishes the legal status of the territories occupied by Azerbaijan in the first Karabakh war in 1991-1994, in 2016 as well as in 2020 as a result of the military aggression unleashed against Artsakh together with Turkey and with direct involvement of foreign mercenaries.

The draft law also determines the relations stemming from the special legal regime that applies to these territories; it determines specific features regarding the activities of governmental and local self-government bodies and public and private organizations, also the rights and freedoms of citizen, as well as the protection and defense of the rights and interests of legal entities.

Occupied territories according to the draft law are the territories specified in the Artsakh Law on Administrative-Territorial Division of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and those that came under Azerbaijani control after the 2020 war.

The draft law stipulates that the entry, exit and movement of foreigners in the occupied territories are permitted only in accordance with the procedures established by the legislation of the Republic of Artsakh. Violation of this procedure will entail liability prescribed by Artsakh legislation.

According to the draft law, any economic activity in the occupied territories, including those requiring licenses, permits, registration are to be carried out in accordance with the procedure prescribed by legislation of Artsakh. Violation of this procedure will entail liability prescribed by legislation.

Income, property and funds derived from any economic activity carried out in the occupied territories in violation of the legislation of the Republic of Artsakh will be deemed illegal and will give rise to the consequences prescribed by the legislation of Artsakh.

The lawmakers have until 5 pm, February 17, to present written amendment proposals.

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