Azerbaijan released 10 Armenian soldiers taken prisoner in mid-November, when an armed conflict broke out on the border of the two countries. In return, the authorities in Yerevan provided a map of minefields in the Nagorno-Karabakh areas that had come under the control of Baku.
The security service of Azerbaijan announced on Saturday that the Armenian soldiers were released. Russia acted as an intermediary in the talks between Yerevan and Baku.
In mid-November clashes broke out on the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia. The authorities in Yerevan then reported that six Armenian soldiers were killed in the fighting, and several dozen military men were captured by Azerbaijani forces. For its part, the Foreign Ministry in Baku said it considered Armenia guilty of “deliberately escalating tensions at the border of both countries”.
The conflict was resolved after mediation by both sides with the participation of representatives of the Russian authorities, including President Vladimir Putin, and Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to a ceasefire.
Release for maps
The Russian section of Radio Svoboda recalled that it was not the first time that the Azerbaijani side had requested maps with the location of anti-tank and anti-personnel mines in exchange for the release of Armenian soldiers. Such an exchange took place, inter alia, in June, when the authorities in Baku handed over to the rulers in Yerevan 15 prisoners of war. The Armenians, in turn, provided maps with the location of 97,000 anti-tank and anti-personnel mines in the Agdam region in Nagorno-Karabakh.
According to official Azerbaijani data, over 20 military and civilians in Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding areas under Azerbaijan control died in the last year as a result of a mine explosion, Radio Svoboda reported on Sunday.
Six weeks of fighting
The Reuters Agency recalled that after the November confrontation, Armenia turned to Russia for help “in defense of the country’s sovereignty.” Yerevan is an ally of Moscow. There is a Russian military base in the Armenian city of Gyumri, where more than 4,000 soldiers are stationed and which is considered one of the most important strategic points of Russian troops in the South Caucasus.
In September last year, fighting broke out between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, located on the territory of Azerbaijan and controlled by Armenians. In the six-week conflict, which ended with a decisive victory for the Azerbaijani troops, at least 6.5 thousand people died. people. Baku took control of a number of Armenian-controlled settlements in Nagorno-Karabakh and beyond.
Armenia and Azerbaijan signed a ceasefire agreement in early November last year. Russia acted as a guarantor of compliance with the truce agreements, and a Russian peace contingent was sent to Nagorno-Karabakh.
Main photo source: Ministry of Defense of Armenia