Armenia’s acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has said Georgian, American and EU partners played a role in ensuring the return of 15 Armenian prisoners from Azerbaijani captivity.
“Two days ago I had a meeting with acting US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Philip Reeker, who said he had been instructed by Secretary of State Antony Blinken to ensure breakthrough in the return of Armenian captives,” Pashinyan said.
According to him, Reeker said they were willing to get involved, if the Armenian side was ready for such cooperation.
“I said we are ready. And today, as a result of these efforts, and the efforts of our Georgian colleagues, namely Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili, our EU partners, 15 of our captured brothers are returning to Armenia,” the acting PM said.
They crossed the Red Bridge to Georgia and headed for Armenia through Bagratashen checkpoint. They will now pass medical examination.
Nikol Pashinyan confirmed media reports that the Armenian side has handed over maps of some minefields to the Azerbaijani side.
“I want to say that we have not exchanged maps for captives. We have responded to a step with a step,” Pashinyan stated.
The acting PM read out the names of the captives that have returned:
Stepanyan Artur from Armavir province
Elibekyan Gegham from Artashat
Sedrakyan Aleksan from Armavir
Gasparyan Erik from Yerevan
Babayan Sasha from Masis
Andreasyan Artak from Etchmiadzin
Khachatryan Erik from Masis
Sirunyan Narek from Hrazdan
Petrosyan Sasun from Artsakh
Sargsyan Vruyr from Kotayk province
Budoyan Armen from Gegharkunik province
Ohanyan Boris, Alaverdi
Abgaryan Artur from Armavir province
Voskanyan David from Armavir
Hunanyan Argam from Armavir