Karabakh official accuses HALO Trust of spying for Turkey
Halo Trust accused of espionage
Armenia is actively discussing an accusation of espionage put forward by representative of the de facto NKR president on special assignments, Boris Avagyan, against HALO Trust, which has been engaged in mine clearance in Nagorno-Karabakh for many years.
Avagyan claimed HALO Trust had handed over a minefield map to Turkish special services.
Moreover, in his opinion, this helped Azerbaijan’s successful military operations during the second Karabakh war in the fall of 2020.
HALO Trust said the accusation was “an absolute lie,” but the scandal continued.
After that, Naira Zohrabyan, a member of the Armenian parliament from the opposition Prosperous Armenia faction, wrote on her Facebook page that the authorities of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh knew about the transfer of the minefield maps.
This is the second story in a week in which employees of international organizations have been accused of espionage against the interests of Armenia.
- Landmines on the Georgian-Azerbaijani border
- Georgia: The deadly legacy of the August war
- UNICEF-Armenia head ‘spy for UK and Azerbaijan?’
Statement from Nagorno-Karabakh
24news.am the a statement from the representative of the leader of Nagorno-Karabakh on special assignments Boris Avagyan:
“The British organization HALO Trust in Karabakh…gave Turkish special services a map of the mined territories of Karabakh, which allowed them to successfully overcome the defensive minefields of the NKR defense army during the 44-day war.”
Ayvagyan claims that under the pretext of studying dangerous areas, this organization carried out reconnaissance work throughout the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The organization issued an official statement in response, which says that for more than 20 years HALO Trust has been working in Karabakh for the sake of the safety of the local population:
The HALO Trust can only operate in conflict zones around the world because it is a non-political, neutral organization. This statement is an absolute lie.”
Statement from Armenia
“I do not believe that the Armenian authorities and the president of the rest of Artsakh were not informed about this. By allowing the transfer of minefield maps, you allowed the enemy to pass through impassable terrain without hindrance,” opposition MP Naira Zohrabyan wrote on Facebook.
Zohrabyan says that after the ‘velvet revolution’, ‘Western espionage networks became active in Armenia and Artsakh,’ ‘local spies, together with foreign ones, weakened the immunity of the two Armenian republics.’
Zohrabyan accused the national security service of Armenia that instead of confronting the enemy, it is busy looking for and exposing fake accounts and wiretapping her phone.
“Especially for the SNB today, during my telephone conversations, I will talk about Dior care products. Choose an operator who will be interested in the topic,” Zohrabyan wrote.
The second spy story in a week
A couple of days before this story broke, another “spy” scandal had occurred in the country.
Then the main protagonist was the head of the Armenian bureau of the UN Children’s Fund, Maryanne Clark-Hatting.
The powers of the UNICEF representative in Armenia have already been terminated; the Armenian government has declared her persona non grata. She hastily left the country.
The Foreign Ministry explained the decision of the Armenian side by the problems with the implementation of Maryanne Clark-Hatting her mandate and the methods of work that did not facilitate cooperation.
However, before that, Armenian Telegram channels, referring to their sources, wrote that the Armenian authorities suspected a UN employee of spying for Azerbaijan and Great Britain.