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YEREVAN. – The “everyone with everyone” principle of exchanging captives does not apply to murderers. Anna Naghdalyan, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Armenia, stated this at Tuesday’s press briefing.

Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had stated this principle.

Naghdalyan recalled that the Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) Republic authorities have already commented on this matter.

“Armenia is committed to humanitarian acts, but they should not encourage impunity—especially with grave crimes; the murder of a minor is a particularly grave crime,” the Armenian MFA spokesperson stressed. “The principle of ‘everyone with everyone’ is not a way out, since it can become an encouragement of violation of human rights and international humanitarian law.

“Unpunished crimes on the basis of hatred provoke new crimes. Moreover, there are grounds to assume that the criminals will be glorified. We have already witnessed such glorification of a criminal. He was declared a national hero [in Azerbaijan] solely for the murder of an Armenian. We must prevent such acts.”

Armenian army officer Gurgen Margaryan was axed to death in his sleep in the Hungarian capital city of Budapest by Azerbaijani officer Ramil Safarov, in 2004. Subsequently, Safarov was extradited to Azerbaijan where he was declared a national hero.

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