Russia seeks to ensure exchange of POWs between Armenia and Azerbaijan according to “all-for-all” principle, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a press conference today.
He said the Russian military, together with colleagues from Armenia and Azerbaijan, are checking the lists of detained persons.
He said the exchange of prisoners is part of the November 9 statement, and has been discussed during Vladimir Putin’s conversations with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.
The issue was also high on the agenda of a trilateral meeting between the leaders of the three countries on January 11.
Lavrov said it was first necessary for the parties to compile the list of captives. He added that Azerbaijan presented complete lists and all captives were returned. As for Armenia, the lists were not immediately presented.
He said the issue now refers to the developments after November 9, when 62 Armenian servicemen were taken hostage near Hadrut.
Azerbaijan said at that stage that the servicemen could not be treated as prisoners of war. As the incident took place after the cessation of hostilities.
“However, we – President Putin and I – are promoting the need to consider the issue and solve it guided by the principle of “all for all,” Lavrov said.