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October 03
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The Russian Federal Security Service's reference to drugs in the issue of Meghri-Agarak road is more like a pretext, Iranian MP of Armenian descent Robert Beglarian told NEWS.am.

He said that literally 10 days after the 44-day war, he met with high-ranking Iranian officials and inquired how the issue of Azerbaijan getting the road to Nakhchivan through the Syunik region of Armenia and back would play out. "I have been told that Russia has reported agreements to escort Azerbaijani convoys by the relevant Russian law enforcement or military. So, I think all this is a new stage of implementation of those very agreements," Beglarian noted.

He did not rule out that it may also be connected with plans to open an Iranian consulate in Kapan. "Not to say it's pressure, but it's probably creating an excuse to negotiate with Iran about what kind of representation the Iranian consulate general will have. And to say that the issue is drugs or smuggling... I look at it a little wider," the deputy said.

He noted that there are Armenian law enforcement agencies at customs and all these issues have always been discussed together with the Iranian side, and successfully. "I see other trends or plans behind Russia's statements," Beglarian added.

The parliamentarian recalled the meeting of Russian, Turkish and Iranian leaders in Tehran, where Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Tehran's sensitivity and "red lines" in these issues. "Khamenei pointed out to Russian President Putin that the war in Ukraine should not interfere with Russia and that there should be no inattention to the events in the South Caucasus. I know that such a hint was clearly voiced by Khamenei. If we compare all this, we can make assumptions about the process we are now watching," he concluded.

Yesterday, it became known that Russian peacekeepers were checking the documents and cargoes on the sovereign territory of Armenia, on the road between Meghri and Agarak. Meanwhile, there is not a single document about the deployment of a peacekeeping contingent on Armenian territory. Bagrat Zakaryan, head of the enlarged Meghri community of Armenia, told NEWS.am that modular checkpoints have been installed on the Meghri-Agarak road of Armenia's Syunik region for nine months already.

The Russian Federal Security Service Border Guard Department in Armenia explained the increase in attempts to smuggle heavy narcotics and psychotropic substances (hashish, methamphetamine and heroin) from Iran into Armenia by strengthening control on the Meghri-Agarak section of the road.

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