MOSCOW, November 14. /TASS/. Armenian National Security Service prevented an attempt to assassinate Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, the agency said in a statement on Saturday.
"The National Security Service of the Republic of Armenia has revealed cases of illegal acquisition and storage of weapons, ammunition and explosives by a group of persons with the aim of seizing power in the Republic of Armenia," the statement says. It is clarified that the attackers, who did not agree with the domestic and foreign policy of the state, intended to seize power by killing the head of government.
The statement clarifies the information that the weapons were transported to Armenia from Karabakh, where military operations have been going on since September 27. Due to this, on the basis of direct suspicions of committing a crime, the former head of the National Security Service of the country, head of the Rodina party Artur Vanetsyan, former MP Vahram Baghdasaryan and two other people were detained.
Earlier on Saturday, Vanetsyan's lawyer Lusine Sahakyan wrote on her Facebook page that he had been detained. "Today Artur Vanetsyan was invited to the Investigative Department of the National Security Service and detained. The authorities charged him based on false suspicions of usurping power and preparing the murder of Nikol Pashinyan," she wrote.
On November 12, the Special Investigation Service of Armenia decided to put ten opposition politicians under preliminary arrest, including Vanetsyan, the leader of the Prosperous Armenia party Gagik Tsarukyan and the representative of the Dashnaktsutyun party Ishkhan Saghatelyan on charges of organizing an illegal meeting. On November 13 they were all released from custody. Protests demanding Pashinyan's resignation have been held in Armenia since November 10.
On November 9, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint statement on a complete ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh starting on November 10. The Russian leader said the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides would maintain the positions that they had held and Russian peacekeepers would be deployed to the region.