Moscow Criticizes ‘Political’ Arrest of Ex Armenian Officials

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Yerevan Says Recent Events Do Not Veer from its Foreign Policy Priorities.

YEREVAN—In a rare rebuke of its strategic ally, Armenia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday expressed serious concern about what it called “politically motivated” arrests of former Armenian officials, who are charged with “breaching the Constitutional order” during the March1, 2008 post-presidential election unrest in Yerevan, which left eight civilians and two police officers dead.

“The events of the last few days… contradict statements of the country’s new leadership, which said that it would not prosecute predecessors based on political motives,” Lavrov told reporters on Tuesday.

“As an ally of Yerevan, Moscow has always been interested in Armenia’s stability. Therefore, what is happening there cannot but concern us,” added Lavrov, who emphasized Moscow’s concerns as they related to Armenia’s participation in CIS-affiliated organizations.

The Russian foreign minister added that during the past few days Moscow has expressed its concerns with Armenia’s leadership and hoped for a “constructive” resolution of the issue.

Lavrov said that during the popular movement in the spring, official Moscow was encouraged by pledges to resolve crisis based on political compromises. However, he said, the events of the past few days “contradict” the statements of Armenia’s leadership.

Lavorv spoke about the the charges of “breaching Armenia’s Constitutional order” brought against Yuri Khachaturov, who is the Secretary General of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization and at the time of the 2008 events was Armenia’s deputy defense minister.

Khachaturov was charged on the same day as former president Robert Kocharian. While Kocharian was remanded into custody, Khachaturov was let go after posting a reported 5 million dram bail.

Armenia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tigran Balayan on Wednesday countered the Moscow’s criticism saying that domestic developments in Armenia are a reflection of the Armenian government’s priorities of instituting rule of law through an independent judiciary to fight corruption.

“These proceedings are not related to Armenia’s foreign policy and must be interpreted otherwise,” said Balayan.

“In this context, we reiterate that our foreign policy priorities, which are included in the government’s program that was approved by parliament, are directed at strengthening and deepening the Armenia-Russia partnership and aim to elevate the effectiveness of our cooperation in the CSTO and Eurasian Economic Union,” added Balayan.

“We, unequivocally, are following [our] declared guidelines.”

On Saturday, the Armenian foreign ministry began the formal process to replace the CSTO Secretary General by contacting other member-states. Moscow, at the time, called Yerevan’s moves “extremely unprofessional,” with its foreign ministry saying that Armenia should have “recalled” Khachaturov before initiating any legal charges against him.

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18 Comments

  1. State of Emergency said:

    Of course Mother Russia isn’t happy. It’s cutting into their racket. The decades long fostering of corrupt leaders was designed, administered, and maintained by the hegemonic bear up north.

  2. Mgl said:

    New and not mature at all new Armenian government is playing with fire.

  3. Steve Tashjian said:

    Armenian people truly appreciates Russa’s continued support to Armenia. When it comes to matters of lawfulness, no one should be above the law. Otherwise it will defy the Spirit of Democracy.

  4. Tavit said:

    How dose Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov state former President Robert Kocharian is innocent or not without court of law? Lavrov is insulting the Armenian rule and regulation. Is Armenia Russia’s one of satellites?

  5. Ari said:

    Turk loving Russians should mind their own business. Cancel all Bolshevik Era treaties with the Turks and then you may express your concerns about how to treat Armenian traitors who sold their country to the mafia gangs of Russia and their greed.

  6. Dr.Hermon Mihranian said:

    Confronting with Russis is one of the greatest mistake of the present Yerevan government. It looks to that the authorities are driven by zionist Soros who infact is trying to destry Europe and the EU. Armenia is for Armenians.

    • Raffi said:

      @Dr.Hermon Mihranian: I agree, Armenians should watch out to Zionists, Soros and Co. are in the business of destroying countries for their hegemonic interests.

  7. Raffi said:

    I don’t believe that Peshinian came to power by the will of the Armenian people, like all masses Armenians were also manipulated from outside, Peshinian should be investigated to find out who are the people behind the scene interested to destabilize Armenia. It’s stupid to believe that corruption can be eradicated, by acting hard he will destroy Armenia’s stability. in Transparency Int’l index: US is 16th, Spain a European country 42nd. Greece, Italy, Lebanon 143rd. Russia 135th. ARMENIA is 107th. from 180 countries, that means it’s not that bad, https://www.transparency.org/news/feature/corruption_perceptions_index_2017 Conclusion: Peshinian should make a soft landing on this issue for the sake of Armenia, and he should not look for vengance.

  8. SA said:

    It’s about time Armenians take control of their own country and throw the Russian puppets behind bars!

    • State of Emergency said:

      Not Russian puppets but Russian puppeteers. Armenians are the marionettes of these puppeteers.

  9. vaheh said:

    I think pashinyan consulted with Russians about the arrests, after all at that time he was in Russia with medvedev, but unfortunately the new government of Armenia is inexperienced and they were played by Russians. Russians are trying to make an opposition to Pashinyan

  10. Sokimag said:

    Russia is right. Pashinyan is doing all the wrong things. He should not prosecute Yuri Khachaturov and Robert Kocharian. They are innocent. Levon Ter-Petrosyan should be arrested, because he is the biggest traitor of them all. I don’t trust Nikol Pashinyan and his government. They will destroy Armenia.

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