ArmInfo.Only a powerful, coordinated international pressure can force Ilham Aliyev to return the Armenian prisoners. It is more than obvious that only fear for his own rating can encourage him to take this step. Ara Papyan, head of the Modus Vivendi analytical center, expressed such opinion to ArmInfo.
After the signing of the trilateral statement on the ceasefire in the Karabakh conflict zone on November 9, Azerbaijan, violating these agreements, captured more than 60 Armenian servicemen. And despite Armenia's strict compliance with all the points of the November 9 statement, Baku refuses to fulfill its part and return all the Armenian prisoners.
During the entire post-war period, there were only a few cases of prisoner exchanges, in which about 70 military and civilian persons returned to Armenia. Moreover, some of which were actually bought by their relatives. According to human rights activists, there are still up to 300 Armenians in Azerbaijani captivity, which Baku stubbornly denies.
And as long as there is no such pressure, Aliyev, according to the analyst, will continue to try to extract as many concessions from Armenia as possible by manipulating the topic of prisoners. According to Papyan, in Aliyev's view, this state of affairs leads to an increase in domestic pressure on Prime Minister Pashinyan. As a result, according to Baku's calculations, it can show greater compliance in response to the demands of Aliyev, who is seeking to get corridors through Meghri and even Goris.
"It is important to note here that the Armenian prisoners are a mechanism in the hands of Aliyev, a lever of pressure not only on Armenia. Aliyev is also actively using this lever to put pressure on Russia. Thus, he also compromises Moscow, the image of the Russian president, who also signed the trilateral statement of November 9. Moreover, it is Russia that is the guarantor of the implementation of all the points of this document without exception. One of them, let me remind you, is the return of all prisoners without exception, " he stressed.
In this light, Papyan considers it necessary for the Armenian leadership to address the issue of prisoners of war to various international organizations, authorities and countries as soon as possible. Noting that many reputable international organizations have not yet expressed a position on this issue, the analyst stressed the need for consistent work of Yerevan in this direction in the international arena.