Unfortunately, the threat of the occupation of Armenia by the planned Russian military police units in Gyumri and Yerevan starts to get increasingly clear. Several days ago, Russian media website EADaily published an anonymous material on the alleged statement of the Ministry of Defense of Armenia, which is clarifying the question of the planned stationing of Russian military police units in Armenia.
According to EADaily, the Ministry of Defense of Armenia stated:
The Republic of Armenia also creates special units of military police, which will be shortly included into the peacemaker units that are performing international peacekeeping missions, as well as into the Collective Forces of CSTO [Collective Security Treaty Organization].
EADaily further writes:
The Ministry of Defense of the republic [Armenia] stressed that the units of the Russian Armed Forces located in Armenia perform functions specified by only international treaties and agreements. The question of the deployment of military police units was coordinated between the military offices of the two states back in 2014.
The task of the military police will be the regulation of the inner-service issues of the 102nd Russian military base in Armenia [located in Gyumri], and the deployment of Russian military police units doesn’t in any way violate the agreements on the structure and strength of the military base.
It should be noted that the statement in question hasn’t been published by either the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Armenia or by any official/unofficial Armenian media. Thus, the statement by EADaily could be considered a regular provocation by the Kremlin.
The year of the alleged agreement raises further questions. If the question of military police and discipline was given an answer back in 2014, how did the 2015 case of Permyakov even occur? Apart from that, if the main task of the Russian military police units is the enforcement of discipline in the military base, why do the Russians plan to station them in Yerevan as well?
A whole another thing is the recent statement made by the Chief of the General Staff of the Armenian Armed Forces Movses Hakobyan. Answering the question of the correspondent of Armenian media portal NEWS.am in regard to the stationing of the Russian military police in Armenia, Hakobyan harshly said:
Everything that was done was done within the law. You are not to decide. We are, and we will decide. It shouldn’t concern you, it is a strategical move… The general public will be informed.
We have examined the agreement concerning the Russian military units in Armenia in our previous material about the creeping occupation of Armenia. According to the article 2 of the agreement, armament can be issued outside of the military base as last resort. Storage, wear, and use of weaponry is allowed only for self-defense or the protection of the property of the military base, the servicemen, and their families. No kind of Russian armed military unit has the authority to patrol the streets of Armenian cities.
This makes Hakobyan’s statement about the legality of the Russian plan strange and confusing, and even alarming. And what about that bizarre “You are not to decide?” What are Hakobyan and the officials doing, preparing a new military police regime? Or what, they will inform the Armenians after the factual occupation? The absence of any kind of official statement from the Armenian side further increases the unclearness of the situation.
The involvement of official Armenia in the question of Russian military police units is now clear and unquestionable regardless of its depth.