On March 25, 2018, the headquarters of the Southern Military District of the Russian Armed Forces issued a statement, according to which the units of the Military Police of the Russian Armed Forces are to be deployed in Armenia.
These units, equipped with firearms, will be deployed in Yerevan and Gyumri, despite the fact that the deployment of Russian military police in Armenia is illegal and is not envisaged by any interstate agreement.
The “Agreement between the Republic of Armenia and the Russian Federation on the Issues of Jurisdiction and Mutual Legal Assistance in Cases Related to Positioning of the Russian Military Base in the Territory of the Republic of Armenia” was signed in 1997 and entered into force in 2002. Article 1 of this agreement lists the law enforcement bodies of the parties that have powers envisaged by the agreement.
Putting aside the discussion of the actual powers (which we have discussed during the Parmiakov’s case), it should be noted that the contract does not stipulate any jurisdiction of the Military Police of the Russian Armed Forces either inside or outside the Russian military base deployed in Armenia.
The agreement envisages different jurisdictions for the Russian Military Courts, the Prosecutor’s Office, the Federal Security Service, etc. There is not a single word in the agreement about the military police and there cannot be because this body was created in 2011, years after the signing of the agreement.
In other words, the Military Police of the Russian Armed Forces has no jurisdiction to operate in the territory of the Republic of Armenia. In the meantime, the patrolling of the Russian Armed Forces Military Police is obviously not envisaged by 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” signed in 2000.
According to a statement issued by the Southern Military District of the Russian Armed Forces, the military police personnel will also receive “firearms, military gear and special military equipment”. Meanwhile, the use and application of firearms by the Russian Federation military servicemen in the Republic of Armenia is strictly enshrined in the 1997 “Agreement on the Use of Weapons by the Russian Military Base servicemen in the Republic of Armenia.”
Particularly, Article 2 of the mentioned agreement stipulates that, outside the premises of the military base, “weapons can be given to the servicemen as an extreme measure.” Moreover, these weapons can be stored and used exclusively for defense purposes (the military base property and weapons can be used to protect the servicemen and their family members).
The RF Armed Forces officers (including the Military Police) have no right to keep, bear, or even use a weapon for the maintenance of discipline or road traffic.
It is worth mentioning that in January 2015, when serviceman Valery Parmyakov escaped from the Russian 102nd military base, the Russian servicemen were searching for him (after the murder of the Avetisyans family) with the use of firearms in violation of the mentioned agreements. Moreover, then they arrested Parmykov again in violation of the agreements and did not transfer him to the Armenian police.
During the events of 2015, no one was called to account for violations of the agreements signed between Armenia and Russia. Moreover, it did not become the subject of the investigation that, despite the demands of the agreements, the Armenian police were informed only 7 hours later that Valery Paryakov had escaped from the 102nd military base, when the Avetisyan family had already been murdered,
Union of Informed Citizens