Violations of the Armenian-Russian Agreements by the Russian Forces in Armenia

09.02.2015 | 10:57 | Foreign Policy

On January 12, 2015, the Avetisyan family were massacred in the Armenian city of Gyumri. Valery Permyakov, a Russian tanker of the 102nd military base in Gyumri, was suspected in this murder from the very first moment.

Russian border guards caught Valery Permyakov near Bayandur village in Shirak region during the night of January 13. They transferred him to the Russian 102nd military base, and afterwards it was announced that the case of Permyakov will be considered by Russian law enforcement bodies and by the court of the Russian Federation.

The question is whether the actions of Russian border troops and military forces in Armenia have conformed with Armenian-Russian agreements.

Quest with arms

It is known that the Russian military armed with guns took part in the search for Permyakov in Gyumri on January 12.

According to Article 13 of the “Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of Armenia on organizing daily activities and garrison service of the Russian Federation’s military units outside the territory of the Russian military base in Armenia”, the Russian soldiers in fact may participate in operational search activities during the search of servicemen of the Russian Federation who deserted the Russian military base.

However, the second article of the “Agreement between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Armenia on the usage of military weapons by the soldiers of the Russian military base outside the territory of the Russian military base in Armenia” clearly lists all the cases in which it is possible to give out, carry and use weapons. However, these cases do not include implementation of operational search activities related to the quest after the deserter.

Under the jurisdiction of RA

Article four of the “Agreement between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Armenia on jurisdiction and mutual legal assistance in cases related to the presence of Russian military base on the territory of the Republic of Armenia ” states that “In cases of crimes and other offenses committed in the territory of the Republic of Armenia by members of the Russian military base and by family members of those persons, the legislation of the Republic of Armenia is applied, and the case is investigated by RA competent authorities.”

This means that the case of the Russian soldier (as well as Permyakov himself) accused of the murder of seven people in Armenia (outside the military base) should be transferred to the Armenian law enforcement bodies.

There was no attempt to cross the border

Article 3 of the “Agreement  between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Armenia on the status of the Border Troops of the Russian Federation on the territory of the Republic of Armenia, and the conditions of their functioning” clearly defines that “border troops of the Russian Federation are not involved in activities other than the protection of the borders with Turkey and Iran (with the exception of works on liquidation of natural disasters, accidents and catastrophes).”

Although the Russian side stated that Valery Permyakov was caught while trying to cross the border illegally, this statement is quite doubtful.

According to the legislation of the Republic of Armenia (Article 329 of the RA Criminal Code), illegal violation of the Armenian border is a crime, and unfinished crime (attempted crime) is also an offense (Chapter 6 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia). That is, a criminal case against Permyakov for attempting to illegally cross the state border was supposed to be opened.

However, despite the fact that a month has already passed since this event, a case has not been opened by the Armenian or the Russian law enforcement bodies, which indicates that Permyakov did not make an attempt to cross the border. If there was no attempt to cross the border, then it may be noted that the Russian border guards were engaged in actions that do not concern the protection of the Armenian-Turkish border.

Should have been transferred to the RA law enforcement bodies

Article 5 of the same agreement on the Russian border troops in Armenia states that Russian border guards carry out operational law enforcement activities according to the criminal code and criminal procedure legislation of Armenia.

This means that the people caught by border guards, as well as proofs and materials found by them must be transferred to the relevant authorities of the Republic of Armenia. However, Russian border guards escorted Permyakov to the 102nd Russian military base and handed him to the commander of this military base.

 

Movement only by agreement

In the first part of Article 25 of the same treaty on the Russian border troops in Armenia, it is stated that “movement, exercises and maneuvers of the Border Troops of the Russian Federation outside their areas of deployment are carried out on the basis of plans agreed with the state authorities of the Republic of Armenia.”

However, during the night of the 12th to 13th January, border guards of the Russian Federation did not coordinate their movement from the village Bayandur to Gyumri with the relevant authorities of Armenia (while transporting Permyakov).

Soon we will present other episodes of violation of the treaties and agreements on the part of Russian security forces in the territory of Armenia. These episodes are related both to the recent events, and also to other known and unknown incidents.

 “Union of Informed Citizens”  NGO


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