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Armenia MP: POW return

Armenia MP: POW return "a matter of one tough phone call" from Putin

13:44 AMT  09:44 GMT
Russia should play a bigger role in the issue of the return of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) prisoners of war and captives as it has more leverage in the region, lawmaker from Armenia's ruling My Step bloc Hovhannes Igityan said Wednesday, January 20. According to him, the question "is a matter of one tough phone call" from Russian President Vladimir Putin to Azerbaijani leader Ilham Aliyev. "I believe Russia could play a bigger role and be a little stricter with its ample opportunities, its peacekeeping contingent in Artsakh and diplomats in Baku, because Russia's signature [under the trilateral statement] is not merely a signature, but a certain obligation as well," A1+ cited Igityan as saying. "If Russia lacks the power, we should help her by gaining international support on the matter. I am aware that the Armenian authorities are working on that. I think it's a matter of just one phone call, a sharp, tough phone call from Putin to Aliyev to remind that Azerbaijan has pledged to return the prisoners of war." According to the lawmaker, members of the Armenian parliament need to decide what they are going to do next. He maintained that "if united messages are sent from Armenia on the issue of prisoners of war, there will be a result." Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Russian and Azerbaijani Presidents Vladimir Putin and Ilham Aliyev on November 9 signed a statement to end the war in Karabakh after almost 45 days. Under the deal, the Armenian side has returned all the seven regions surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh, having lost a part of Karabakh itself in hostilities.
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