Read daily news summary for February 9 here.
The relatives of the POWs from Shirak region have closed roads since noon today
According to Sputnik Armenia, the relatives protested because they had been informed that 25 POWs were returning to Armenia, instead 5 of them were repatriated yesterday.
As a result of negotiations the relatives of the POWs decided to open the Gyumri-Yerevan road. They headed to the Shirak regional administration. The Governor of Shirak Hovhannes Harutyunyan was negotiating with them.
The Prime Minister of Armenia announced in the Parliament that they are planning a visit to the Shirak region, where they will have meetings, including with the relatives of the POWs. “I want to assure you that we don’t need to be reminded of the problem with POWs, as we don’t forget about it. Daily work is carried out in connection with the return of the POWs,” said Nikol Pashinya.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Prime Minister’s office told ARMENPRESS that up till now Azerbaijan has returned 69 captured.
12 wounded servicemen need additional treatment abroad
Armenia’s Defense Ministry has appealed to the professional commission of the Healthcare Ministry to organize the treatment of 12 servicemen wounded during the Second Artsakh War abroad, the Minister of Healthcare Anahit Avanesyan said during the Q&A session in the Parliament today.
“There is concrete procedure for such cases when the Defense Ministry is submitting such applications to the professional commission of the Healthcare Ministry, which in turn assesses whether there is a need to send them abroad or not, and after that it makes a decision, as a result of which the Government fully covers the costs of the treatment of the wounded servicemen,” she said.
At the moment 12 such applications have been submitted for the commission’s discussion.
Russia: OSCE Minsk Group should continue Karabakh activity
The activities of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs should continue, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko said in an interview with TASS.
“They made an important contribution to the development of basic principles for the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, many of which were reflected in the statement of November 9, 2020,” he said. According to Rudenko, the task of achieving a comprehensive political settlement, which, in accordance with the decisions of the OSCE Budapest Summit (1994), is entrusted to the Minsk Group co-chairs, remains in demand.
“The “Troika” [the Russian, French and U.S. co-chairs] has strong international support and can be useful in developing mutually acceptable approaches to further steps, including on the issue of status, but carefully and slowly, when the time comes,” the Deputy FM said.
According to him, now the OSCE Minsk Group and its co-chairs could be active in strengthening confidence-building measures between Armenians and Azerbaijanis.
Other news from Armenia and Artsakh
- The Armenian Government plans to build alternative roads to Syunik Province "as soon as the weather conditions allow, the Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure Suren Papikyan said during Parliament-Government Q&A session today.
- During the same session Foreign Minister Ara Aivazian said that Turkey no longer has a reason to blockade Armenia. According to him, Turkey has been keeping the border with Armenia closed for years due to the status quo in Nagorno-Karabakh, now changed as a result of the use of force. “Under pressure from the global community, Turkey will have to open the border sooner or later. At the same time, we understand that opening the border contains both opportunities and risks,” Ayvazian said․
- Armenia continues to serve as a transit country for drug smugglers despite border restrictions imposed last year because of pandemic. The number of registered cases of customs violations have more than doubled in 2020, numbering 426.
- Post-war donations of Diaspora Armenians to the Hayastan All Armenian Fund has amounted to 27,000,000 dollars, the organization’s marketing and PR chief Ashot Barseghyan told ARMENPRESS.
- Stepanakert airport will soon open according to Artsakh Presidential Chief of Staff Artak Beglaryan, hetq.am reports. The airport will service both military and civilian flights.
- Artsakh’s Foreign Ministry has issued a statement, informing that the entry procedure of foreign citizens to the territory of the Republic of Artsakh in the post-war conditions has been updated. Taking into account security considerations, information about applications is also transmitted to the Russian peacekeeping forces.