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Armenia will be strengthening both allied relations with Russia and cooperation with EU: MFA

Yerevan hopes investigation into the vicious murder of the Armenian family by a soldier of the Russian military base will be completed as soon as possible and all those found guilty will be punished within the law, Foreign Minister of Armenia Edward Nalbandian said in a press conference on the follo-up of the 15th meeting of the Armenia-EU Cooperation Council in Brussels, the Foreign Ministry press office told EAD.

“We hope very much that all investigation procedures will be completed as soon as possible and those guilty will be punished in accordance to the law. Of course, this horrible crime sparked natural human anger and emotions in Armenia,” the minister said.

Asked if Armenia would be insisting on explanations from Russia and if the parties would have to revise the treaty on deployment of the Russian military base in Armenia, the minister said: “Concerning the question on our relations with Russia:  we have strong, allied, strategic relations with Russia and we will continue to strengthen and enhance them further with joint efforts.”

To recall, on January 12, Valery Permyakov – a soldier of the 102nd Russian military base deployed in the town of Gyumri, Armenia – left his post and strayed into the town. He penetrated in one of the houses and shot six members of the Avetisyans family, including a two-year-old girl, dead, and stabbed a six-month-old baby-boy of the same family. He was detained by Russian frontier guards when trying to cross into Turkey later on the same day. Later on January 19, the injured baby, Seryozha Avetisyan, died in hospital in Yerevan. This incident sparked public outrage in both Gyumri and Yerevan.  People went to the streets demanding that Permyakov stands trial in Armenia. Reportedly, the investigation and trial against Permyakov will be held in the territory of Armenia. Armenia and Russia have agreed work together towards comprehensive, thorough and impartial investigation into the criminal cases that were launched in both the countries.   

Answering questions of journalists as to whether Nalbandian considers the EU-initiated Eastern Partnership Project as competing with Russia, the minister said: “Concerning the Eastern Partnership and, in general, our relations with the European Union, I said very clearly in my introductory message that we are going to develop and deepen our comprehensive cooperation and partnership with the European Union, taking into due consideration our commitments in other international, integration formats.”

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