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Armenian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Anna Nagdalyan has dismissed as lie a statement of Azerbaijani top diplomat Jeyhun Bayramov that the country had handed over all prisoners of war in accordance with its commitments, the Armenian Foreign Ministry’s press service said.
"This is another lie of the Azerbaijani side on this topical humanitarian issue. The Azerbaijani foreign minister’s statement runs counter to the data of other respective bodies of this country, which confirmed the presence of dozens of Armenian prisoners of war in Azerbaijan, who were captured both during the fighting and after the ceasefire was established," Nagdalyan said.
The Armenian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman stated that Azerbaijan was not providing data on the Armenian prisoners of war to the European Court of Human Rights, which considers this issue as part of an interstate case Armenia vs Azerbaijan. According to the press service, "currently provisional measures are being carried out on 188 captured Armenians against Azerbaijan."
"I must emphasize that failure to comply with interim measures is tantamount to a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. I would like to add that the eighth provision of the November 9, 2020 statement applies to all prisoners of war and persons held as hostages. With such statements, the Azerbaijani side proves that it deliberately does not fulfill this Trilateral Statement. Holding Armenian prisoners as hostages undermines the implementation of the agreements set out in the trilateral statement," Nagdalyan said, TASS reports.
Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, 2020 with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh, which had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up, but primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, broke out in February 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1992-1994, tensions boiled over and exploded into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and seven adjacent territories after Azerbaijan lost control of them.
On November 9, 2020 Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint statement on a complete ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh starting from November 10. Under the deal, Azerbaijan and Armenia maintained the positions that they had held, some of the districts were handed back to Baku, and the Russian peacekeepers were deployed along the contact line and to the Lachin corridor, which links Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia. The prisoner swap should be carried out on an all-for-all basis.