MOSCOW, December 15. /TASS/. A total of 12 prisoners of war were handed over to Azerbaijan and another 44 to Armenia under the agreements on a swap between Baku and Yerevan, which were reached personally by Commander of Russia’s peacekeeping contingent in Nagorno-Karabakh Lt. Gen. Rustam Muradov, Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Monday.
"Over the past two weeks, Commander of the Russian peacekeeping contingent Lt. Gen. Muradov had been carrying out intensive talks with the representatives of the Armenian and Azerbaijani sides on an all-for-all prisoner swap. As a result of the achieved agreements, on December 14 the prisoner swap was held. The commander of the Russian peacekeeping forces personally handed over to the Azerbaijani side 12 people and 44 people to the Armenian side," Konashenkov said.
According to the spokesman, the commander of the Russian peacekeeping contingent brought them home to Baku and Yerevan, respectively, onboard a Russian plane.
"Russia’s peacekeepers keep providing assistance in collecting data on those who went missing during the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh," Konashenkov said, noting that Russian officers of the peacekeeping forces had held more than 2,100 meetings with citizens and received 480 requests by phone.
Besides, refugees keep coming back to the region. Over the past day, another 825 refugees returned to Nagorno-Karabakh from Armenia, and their total number reached more than 39,000 since the start of the peacekeeping operation.
On November 9, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint statement on a complete ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh. Under the agreement, the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides maintained the positions that they had held and Russian peacekeepers were deployed to the region.