Are the US CIA and UK MI6 helping overseeing the creation of the new Armenian External Intelligence Service?

Posted on Wednesday, Feb 28, 2024 by Hovik Manucharyan | Category: Armenia, Politics, Clip | Series: Blog | Richard Moore, richard moore mi6, william burns, william burns cia, Nikol Pashinyan, Armenia, Foreign Intelligence Service, CIA, MI6, munich, intelligence

Pashinyan’s Rendezvous With CIA/MI6 Spy Masters

We rarely try to propagate rumors, but in this case we believe this is important. In episode 310, we talked about the potential that the US CIA and the UK MI6 are overseeing the creation of Armenia’s new intelligence service.

Listen to the segment and continue reading…


Until recently, Armenia’s National Security Service has been the main intelligence agency for both internal and external intelligence gathering. Internally, it is the main agency who is able to tap phones, investigate cases of espionage, corruption, etc… Pashinyan, in the past has publicly alluded to the fact that the NSS has close ties to external countries (meaning Russia). However, when Pashinyan announced work to split the NSS and take away foreign intelligence gathering from its scope, he praised the agency, claiming it to be “one of the most important pillars of our state.”

Here’s a brief chronology of events related to this:

CIA / MI6 Experience In Ukraine

On Sunday, February 25, 2024, New York Times published an interesting article about CIA/MI6 tag teaming to create a new intelligence service for Ukraine. Well, at least now we know that this is indeed part of their repertoire.

Apparently, shortly after the Maidan “Revolution” in 2014, it appears that Valentin Nalyvaichenko, the new government’s new spy chief, called the MI6 and CIA and a 3-way partnership was started.

The cooperation in Ukraine is so tight that the foreigners financed the creation of a secret spy bases, equipped them, and helped hire and train Ukrainian spies. In fact, NYT claims 12 secret bases were created along the Russian border.

The article is pretty interesting, have a read here.

Given American interest and engagement in Ukraine, including an embarrasing “Fu** the EU” leaked phone conversation which proved that the US was interfering and perhaps even pulling the strings during the Euromaidan, Aaron Mate rightly asks: “Why was Ukraine’s new spy chief already on such good terms with the CIA and MI6, literally on the night of a coup that brought his new government to power?”.

The NYT article does provide at least a partial answer: “During a previous stint as spy chief, Mr. Nalyvaichenko started a similar partnership with the C.I.A., which dissolved when the country swung back toward Russia.” That previous stint was between 2006 and 2010.


Anyway, coming back to Armenia, I do have some questions about this deal:

Why CIA and MI6?

If Armenia was worried about Russian infiltration and wanted to create a brand new intel service, couldn’t he ask some other country, maybe a more neutral one, for help? Why ask Russia’s “mortal” enemies, the UK and the US for such close cooperation.

Who is Kristine Grigoryan?

Who is Kristine Grigoryan anyway? She seems to have a background as a lawyer and her most relevant work as a government official appears to be Deputy Minister of Justice, since 2019. Prior to that, according to her LinkedIn profile, she has worked as a “Component Team Leader” for SANAP Tetra Tech, which is a USAID contractor.

Here’s a snapshot from Kristine Grigoryan’s LinkedIn (acquired Feb 26, 2024 11:40 pm):

Kristine Grigoryan Linked

Her prior work profile shows no indication that she’d be well versed in the creation of a spy service. Is it possible that Pashinyan, like many times before, simply choses individuals who will obey his commands? Like the unqualified Lilit Makunts, who was appointed as ambassador to the US?

Or is the relevant part of her background not listed on LinkedIn?

Since When? And What Exactly?

Inviting foreign countries to tear down your existing intel service and build one from scratch for you seems to be not a trivial endeavor. Especially in the case of Armenia, whose strategic ally Russia is currently effectively at war with the countries being invited to do this work.

These types of deals require preparation and trust. Was all this preparation and trust built up after 2018? Or…

And what exactly are the Brits and the Americans doing. In the case of Ukraine, they seem to have gone all in and created dozens of secret intelligence bases, equipped Ukraine to the fullest. Are they investing at a similar scale in Armenia?