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Abduction of Foreigner by Russian Military in Armenia Sparks Criticism from NA Speaker


Abduction of Foreigner by Russian Military in Armenia Sparks Criticism from NA Speaker

Alen Simonyan, the Speaker of the National Assembly (NA) of Armenia, expressed strong criticism and concern over the recent incident involving the abduction of a foreign citizen by the military police of the Russian 102nd Military Base in Gyumri, Armenia. Simonyan addressed reporters during a session at the NA on Friday, labeling the incident as "inadmissible and unacceptable."


Simonyan spoke about the urgent need for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) to provide a prompt and fitting response to this violation of sovereignty, emphasizing, "I think our MFA should show an appropriate response because this is inadmissible."


The abduction in question involved the arrest of Russian citizen Dmitry Setrakov by the military police officers of the Russian 102nd Military Base in Gyumri. According to human rights advocate Artur Sakunts, Setrakov, a former contract soldier in Russia, sought refuge in Gyumri after refusing to continue his service following military operations. He had made the decision to relocate to Armenia.


Following his arrival in Armenia, Setrakov was apprehended by the military police and subsequently transferred to the aforementioned Russian military base in Gyumri. He faced accusations of desertion from his military unit, leading to the initiation of a criminal case against him.


The Prosecutor General’s Office of Armenia responded to these developments, clarifying that it had not received, discussed, or granted any petition regarding Setrakov's detention, arrest, or extradition to Russian authorities. Moreover, they declared a lack of information about any search for Setrakov by Russian authorities or his presence in Armenia.


Subsequently, it was confirmed that Dmitry Setrakov had been forcibly transferred to Russia, raising serious concerns about the circumstances surrounding his extradition from Armenian territory.


The situation has sparked intense debate and raised questions about the sovereignty of Armenia and the involvement of foreign military personnel in operations beyond their mandate.


Simonyan's strong stance reflects the growing unease within Armenia's political landscape regarding the incident and its implications for national sovereignty and human rights. The demand for immediate action by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shows the urgency to address this breach and uphold Armenia's territorial integrity and legal jurisdiction.


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