By Akbar Mammadov
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on May 14 that the exchange of prisoners of war (POW) is always on the agenda of the peace negotiations over the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Commenting on Azerbaijan’s initiative to conduct an exchange of prisoners and hostages according to the “all for all” principle amidst COVID-19, Russian Spokeswoman noted:
“Last year in Moscow, a decision was made regarding visits to prisoners by their relatives. Then Azerbaijan and Armenia returned a prisoner each. With the assistance of the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, consultations are continuing on the fate of other prisoners. We will closely monitor their progress,” Zakharova said addressing a press conference.
It should be noted that earlier, Head of Foreign Policy Affairs Department of the Presidential Administration Hikmat Hajiyev said that Azerbaijan has always been committed to the return of hostages on the basis of the “all for all" principle, while Armenia constantly avoids this issue.
According to the Azerbaijani State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing People as of January 1, 2020, so far, 3,889 people are missing, 3,622 of them are men and 267 - women. Some 3,170 servicemen, 719 civilians (71 children, 326 old people, 267 women) are among those missing.
Akbar Mammadov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97
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