“Russia’s mediation proposal is a positive step in the issue of captives and hostages” – Human Rights Defender

13:52 | 10 September, 2019

A Russian Foreign Ministry official commented on the exchange of captives and hostages between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

“Sides of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict may appeal to Russia to exchange the captives and hostages.” It was stated by the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova in response to a question about the conditions for creating an atmosphere of mutual trust between the sides.

“These issues need to be addressed within a defined format. This format exists and I do not think that any political assessment on my part is necessary. We have working mechanisms and there are co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. They may also provide additional support to enable certain mechanisms to operate if needed. “If the sides need some support, and specifically Russia’s support, the problem can be solved through bilateral diplomatic channels.”

In his interview to ARB 24 Television, Ahmad Shahidov, coordinator of the Information Center for Azerbaijani Captives and Hostages, said that Moscow could play a very important role in the exchange of Azerbaijani captives and hostages: “Russia can play a very important role in this regard. As a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, and as a country with very effective influence on the South Caucasus region, especially Armenia, there are many things Russia can do about it. Azerbaijan has already proposed the principle of “All to all” on exchange of captives and hostages since November of last year, and this proposal is relevant today. It would be expedient to positively evaluate this proposal of the official Moscow by the Armenian government and finally resolve the issue.”