EU, France Mediate Release of 8 POWs

By Asbarez | Monday, 07 February 2022

Through a mediation effort from the European Union and France, Azerbaijan has released eight more prisoners of war who arrived in Armenia on Monday and were greeted at the airport by French and and European representatives in Armenia.

This latest release of POWs comes days after Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev had a virtual meeting mediated by the President of the European Council Charles Michel and President Emanuel Macron of France on Friday.

French and EU representatives greet the POWs upon their return to Armenia

Armenia’s Foreign Ministry released the name of the eight prisoners of war. They are: Sargis Tarzyan, Vardges Balayan, Armen Petrosyan, Artur Babayan, Hmayak Sargsyan, Gurgen Galoyan, Grigor Kyureghyan and Vagharshak Maloyan.

Azerbaijan announced the release of eight POWs, saying that some of them were captured on November 16, when Azerbaijani forces attempted to invade Armenia.

Azerbaijani authorities reportedly have said that in exchange for the release of the POWS, Baku expects to receive information about Azerbaijani soldiers and civilians killed in the first Karabakh war and presumably buried in mass graves, as well as the location of these graves, reported.

“Both in the first and the second Artsakh war, the Armenian side has missing persons. We attach importance to finding out the fate of the missing. In this sense, the Armenian side did not assume any unilateral obligations,” Armenia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Vahan Hunanyan told’s Armenian Service on Monday.

Armenian Investigative Committee’s spokesperson Vardan Tadevosyan announced that all returned POWs will be interrogated. This has become the norm for Armenia’s authorities, who have questioned all POWs who were captured during the November 16 military operations. Thus far, five POWs have been detained and are facing criminal charges for allegedly not carrying out their combat duties.

In Tweet on Monday, Macron thanked French diplomats and military officials who were involved in the process of returning the eight POWs from Azerbaijan.

“8 Armenian detainees were released by Azerbaijan and transferred from Baku to Yerevan. They were reunited with their families, from whom they had been separated for several months. Thanks to our diplomats, as well as our soldiers who were mobilized for this operation,” Macron tweeted.

The EU supports stability and prosperity in the region, Michel, the European Council president said in a tweet on Monday.

“The release by Azerbaijan and reparation [sic] to Armenia of 8 Armenian detainees is another sign of positive developments following the meeting with Emmanuel Macron, Ilham Aliyev and Nikol Pashinyan. The EU supports stability and prosperity in the region,” he said.

Javier Colomina, NATO’s Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs also tweeted a message on the POW release.

“It is indeed good news. NATO values our partnership with both Armenia and Azerbaijan , and supports the normalisation of their relations, which will contribute to increase stability and prosperity in the region,” Colomina said in this tweet.