Return of Armenian captives among Russia's priorities – envoy

Return of Armenian captives among Russia's priorities – envoy

PanARMENIAN.Net - The return of Armenian captives from Azerbaijan is among Russia's priorities, Moscow's Ambassador to Yerevan Sergei Kopyrkin told reporters on Tuesday, June 22.

"We welcomed the return of 15 captives. Right from the beginning, Russia has been doing everything possible to make this happen," Kopyrkin said.

The ambassador said there is progress on the matter, citing "the huge contribution" of the commander of the peacekeeping contingent in Karabakh, Lieutenant General Rustam Muradov, as well as of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Kopyrkin also weighed in on the expected deployment of Russian border guards in the province of Gegharkunik, on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, urging reporters to "wait for the next steps".

His comments came after Gegharkunik governor Gnel Sanosyan said Russian border guards will be deployed in the area "in the coming days", to pave the way for the withdrawal of the militaries of both countries from the immediate vicinity of the border․

The Russian envoy revealed that the question of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs' visit to the region is on the table but failed to provide concrete information.

Azerbaijani forces violated Armenia’s border in several sections in the provinces of Syunik and Gegharkunik on May 12 and 13 and are still refusing to withdraw their troops from the area. One Armenian serviceman was killed in Azerbaijan’s shooting on May 25, six troops were captured on May 27, although four of them have already returned home.

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