Russia wants to close the issue of the prisoners of war: the return of POWs must be organized with “all for all” principle, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference.
He reminded that the issue of POWs is a part of the agreements signed by the leaders of Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan on November 9, and this issue has been discussed during the telephone conversations of Russian President Vladimir Putin with the Prime Minister of Armenia and the Azerbaijani President.
“The issue of POWs was part of lasting discussions when the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan arrived in Moscow on January 11. Initially, Armenians had more problems connected with the issue of POWs. Firstly, the sides needed to form the list of persons who have been declared as missing. Azerbaijan has given such lists, and they were not so much, and everyone has been returned, although not immediately. Other problems from the Azerbaijani side connected with the missing in action, the POWs, detained persons, have not emerged”, the Russian FM said.
According to him, the lists from the Armenian side have not been immediately and completely provided.
“But now the most important issue is the one which emerged in Hadrut in December. Armenian servicemen have been sent there, most of them have been captured, a total of 62 soldiers. The Azerbaijani side has announced that as these people have been transported to that region after the cessation of fire, they should be viewed in a separate procedure. We, I and President Putin, in any case, propose to continue discussing this issue in order to close it and be guided by the “all for all” principle”, he added.
The Russian foreign minister stated that he has talked with the Armenian FM aimed at clarifying the final lists of POWs, however, it turned out that the number of POWs is much more than that 62.
“At the moment the military of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan are checking the lists name by name to understand where that people are”, Lavrov said.