The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Armenia plans to take measures to protect the ex-minister of state of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) Ruben Vardanyan, detained in Baku, and is counting on Russia’s help, said ministry spokeswoman Ani Badalyan.
“The Armenian Foreign Ministry will take all possible measures to ensure the protection of Ruben Vardanyan’s rights and his return. In this regard, we also count on the support of the Russian Federation and other international partners,” Badalyan said (quote via Interfax).
Vardanyan was detained on September 27 at the Azerbaijani border while trying to travel from Karabakh to Armenia. Initially, his wife reported this, but later the information was confirmed by the Azerbaijani border service. The department clarified that Vardanyan was taken to Baku and handed over to “the relevant government authorities to make an appropriate decision.”
In the fall of 2022, Vardanyan announced his decision to renounce Russian citizenship and move to Nagorno-Karabakh. Vardanyan explained his move with a desire to support local residents who are “in a difficult psychological state.”
Russian Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov during the day saidthat Vardanyan has Russian citizenship, so Russia should be informed about his detention. He added that Moscow will protect Vardanyan’s rights. At the same time, the Kremlin representative did not comment on the refusal of the former NKR State Minister to renounce Russian citizenship.
Previously the government of Armenia appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) to oblige Azerbaijan to provide data on the condition and location of Vardanyan.