YEREVAN, December 21. /TASS/. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for his help in returning Armenian military officers back home.
"I would like to thank President Putin for the fact that yesterday, six of our soldiers who had spent 70 days in the forest were found and evacuated. This is something akin to a miracle. We are constantly working on returning our soldiers, and we have spoken about this with the Russian president dozens of times," Pashinyan said on Monday during a meeting with the residents of the town of Sisian.
Earlier on Sunday, Nagorno-Karabakh’s emergencies ministry informed of the return of six military officers.
Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up, but primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, broke out in February 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1992-1994, tensions boiled over and exploded into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and seven adjacent territories after Azerbaijan lost control of them.
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 starting from November 10. The Russian leader said the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides would maintain the positions that they had held and Russian peacekeepers would be deployed to the region. Besides, Baku and Yerevan must exchange prisoners and the bodies of those killed.