February 26
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The Armenian government proposes the creation of the Foreign Intelligence Service. It will be a body subordinated to the Prime Minister, the Secretary of the Security Council Armen Grigoryan said during the discussion of the package of draft laws "On Foreign Intelligence Activity and Foreign Intelligence Service" and amendments to related laws at an extraordinary session of the National Assembly on Tuesday.

According to him, the establishment of the service was envisaged by the governmental program for 2021-2026. The legislative package establishes the powers, structure and system of the service, the order and conditions of transition to service, service and dismissal, as well as the rights and obligations of SVR employees.

"By establishing the Foreign Intelligence Service in Armenia, it is planned to form an 'intelligence community,'" Grigoryan noted.

However, service in the SVR will not be considered military service. According to the authors of the legislative initiative, this will create broader opportunities for attracting specialists. "In addition, the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service will become a member of the Security Council of Armenia," explained the secretary of the Security Council.

According to the legislative package, the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service, in coordination with the Prime Minister, will approve the list of special technical means used for relevant purposes. At the same time, the use of these special means by other government agencies, as well as units, individuals and legal entities not involved in foreign intelligence will be prohibited.

Apart from the Foreign Intelligence Service, the respective units of the Ministry of Defense and the National Security Service will continue to conduct foreign intelligence. However, as noted above, all this will already be considered military service.

The legislative package also establishes the order of creation and formation of agent networks. In particular, it is allowed to use adult persons as such. At the same time it will be prohibited to involve the deputies of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia, members of the government, the Secretary of the Security Council, members of the Supreme Judicial Council, judges, prosecutors and the Ombudsman of the Republic as collaborators.

The legislative initiative allows the SVR to cooperate with "facilitators" both on a contractual basis and without a contract. However, the grounds and the order of establishment of contractual or non-contractual relations, the scope of activities implemented by them and the order of their implementation will also be determined by the head of the government.

In addition, in order to ensure the safety of the above-mentioned persons and members of their families, special measures aimed at their protection will be implemented.

"SVR has the right to carry out the concealment of documents relating to buildings and vehicles related to the activities of the organization, the relevant departments of the Ministry of Defense and the NSS, as well as persons cooperating with the service. All information will be coded and entered into state information systems," Armen Grigoryan concluded.

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