Andranik Grigoryan, a former POW

Russia Federation Council Chief: Baku Must Release Armenian POWs

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MOSCOW (PanARMENIAN.Net) — Azerbaijan must return all the Armenian prisoners of war and other detainees, Speaker of the Federation Council of Russia Valentina Matviyenko said at a meeting with the Speaker of the Armenian National Assembly Ararat Mirzoyan in Saint Petersburg on Thursday, April 15.

Matviyenko thus reaffirmed Russia’s stance on the matter.

Mirzoyan, meanwhile, detailed his Russian colleague on the situation around the conflict in Artsakh after the signing of the trilateral statement of November 9, emphasizing the importance of the issue of immediately returning the Armenian prisoners of war and other detainees kept by the Azerbaijani side homeland.

The Armenian Speaker added Azerbaijan’s actions continues hindering the activity of the countries of the region aimed at unblocking transport communications.

At the end of the meeting Mirzoyan awarded Matviyenko a gold medal of the National Assembly for the important contribution to the strengthening of the inter-parliamentary ties between the two countries and for helping release Lebanese-Armenian Maral Najarian from the Azerbaijani captivity.

Several dozen Armenian POWs have returned from Azerbaijan so far, although Armenian officials say many more people were being held in Baku. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev claims, however, that persons being kept in Baku are not prisoners of war but “terrorists and saboteurs.” Officials and human rights advocates from the Armenian side, however, maintain Azerbaijan is still holding hundreds of people hostage, pledging to submit evidence proving the capture of said persons to international agencies and courts.

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