The Conditions of Russian Military Base Armenian Stay Should be Clarified
At July 23 Media Center discussion on “Unrest over Panik Incident”, Artur Sakunts, head of Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor Office labelled July 17 Panik incident on behalf of Russian military as terror act against the local population.

“In broad daylight they were shooting fire on the villagers, this is impermissable”, the speakers says and adds, “The population of Panik must be recognized as victims and we are ready to act to defend their interests.” The human rights advocate notes that regarding the 102 Russian military base and Russian border guard army located in Armenia there are a lot of problems, their location contracts must be reviewed. One of the prior problems is auditing the allocation of funds to the Russian base and border guards activities from the RA state budget.

Ara Papian, president of Modus Vivendi Center, RA ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary also stresses the importance of reviewing and clarifying the contracts. He thinks the Panik incident is a crime.

“according to the law some people must be charged, but in fact we understand that no one will be. The Russian side should change the managerial staff of the base. Let’s say an Armenian squad invaded Panik and starting shooting fire. They would be charged for sure. So why is the Russian subdivision given a privileged status?”

As to the Russian base excuses that those were not shots but imitations shots, the speaker noted,

“We should not forget that we have a precedent. For imitation shooting Hayk Kyureghyan, RA citizen was sentenced to 9 years of prison. There is law that forbids even imitation. While Kyureghyan’s was not a military weapon but an air gun he was sentenced to 9 years and served 4, in this case we have a whole subdivision. This is crime, a whole subdivision violating the rights of a state.

Stepan Grigoryan, president of Analytical Center on Globalisation and Regional Cooperation agrees with the former ones and does not exclude the version that the incident is a sabotage against the acting authorities and is aimed at aggravating the Russian-Armenian relationships, to distract focus from corruption combat and the snap election processes.

“One version is much probable, to my mind. The ex authorities being in friendly relationships with the Russian base management, have organized this sabotage. Why? Among the new authorities many are young representatives, they are enthusiastic and will start harsh talk to Russia. This is made up to distract focus. This version can’t be neglected”, the speaker stresses.

Derenik Malkhasyan, Media Center editor/project coordinator.

For more please watch the video.

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