Baku, Azerbaijan, July 17
By Seba Agayeva - Trend:
Russia's Foreign Ministry will examine the hostage-taking of a Russian citizen by Armenian separatists in Azerbaijan's occupied district of Kalbajar.
"We yet do not have any official information on this matter, but will surely investigate this, and if it is confirmed, the Russian Foreign Ministry will respond accordingly," the ministry told Trend commenting on the issue.
Armenian media claimed that three people were taken hostages, with one of them being the citizen of Russia.
Earlier, the Armenian media reported that the Armenian forces, during an operation in the occupied Kalbajar District's Shaplar village, killed an Azerbaijani - Hasan Hasanov, and detained two other Azerbaijanis - Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev, who is the citizen of Russia.
Armenians also reported about the launching of criminal cases against the detained Azerbaijanis.
On July 15, the Azerbaijani State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing People said the fate of Azerbaijani citizens taken hostages in the Kalbajar District, is its priority.
Meanwhile, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry dismissed the Armenian media reports on affiliation of the mentioned persons to the country's armed forces.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan.
As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
Edited by S.I.