Interviews and press conferences

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's press conference


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On May 7, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's press conference was held at Karen Demirchyan Sport and Concert Complex.

Before answering the questions of media representatives, the Prime Minister made an opening speech and presented the planned steps towards the realization of the vision of Real Armenia.

"Dear representatives of mass media,
Dear people,

Exactly six years ago, our political team and I assumed the leadership of the Republic of Armenia. Ever since, we have considered serving the agenda, which in our reality is accepted to be called national goals, as the primary task of our government. The process of full service of that agenda revealed a number of conceptual and practical problems, which were materialized mostly before the 44-day war. Throughout that time, we have considered it important to diagnose the mentioned problems, considering their solution as vital. The process of practically dealing with all of that revealed to us not only the insolubility of some of the problems, but also their incompatibility with the ideas and practices of independence, sovereignty, and statehood. Moreover, some agendas have demonstrated their pre-determined stalemate, the probable deep purpose of which is to prevent the establishment and development of our country by strategic targeting of Armenia's independence, sovereignty, and statehood. I have shared those conclusions with the public regularly, on various occasions, of which, in particular, I would like to emphasize my previous press conferences, my speeches during the parliamentary discussions of the annual reports on the "Progress and Results of the Implementation of the Government Program", as well as my speech and question-and-answer session at the commission of the National Assembly investigating the circumstances of the 44-day war of 2020. The emphasis I made in all those speeches, which were based on objective facts and their combination, naturally and logically bring forth the need to revise the strategic vision of the development of the Republic of Armenia.

The vision of Real Armenia, which I spoke about when presenting the "Report on the progress and results of the 2021-2026 Government Action Plan of the Republic of Armenia for the year of 2023" in the National Assembly, stems from this necessity. Today, I want to take another step towards realizing that vision. Let me say in advance that the slide show, which I will present shortly, is not complete, it does not address a number of key issues related to foreign and domestic relations, and aims to outline the vision of Armenia's development starting from today, aiming for a sustainable future.

I'm going to put that slide on the screen, dear members of the media, and our first slide is called "The Title" and the title is listed as Republic of Armenia. What do we mean when we say Armenia, we mean the Republic of Armenia?

Next, what is the status of the Republic of Armenia, moreover, the answers to these questions should not sound too trivial, because I think that in our reality, and in general, in any reality, we need to make an adjustment of the main concepts and a rating of the main concepts. And here, this image also has that purpose.

The Republic of Armenia is a sovereign state, and we should have this not only as a benchmark, not only as a goal, but also as a basis for actions and practices. This means that the Republic of Armenia conducts and should conduct an independent foreign policy, and it is very important, I have talked about this several times recently, the internal relations of the Republic of Armenia are established and regulated through the will of the people of the Republic of Armenia. I have talked about this several times before, sometimes when we say sovereignty we mean our relations with the outside world, but it is also very important to take sovereignty as a basis for internal relations as well, in the sense that domestic legislation and internal relations should be regulated. They must be regulated according to the will of the people, that is, the people must be the author of these legal relations, determining what is allowed and what is not allowed inside the Republic of Armenia. And it is defined as law and legal order, which is an important attribute of sovereignty in the sense that the people of the Republic of Armenia must define for themselves the rules of living in the Republic of Armenia.

Next, the territory of the Republic of Armenia, the area is 29 thousand 743 square kilometers, when we say the Republic of Armenia, we must be very specific, and when we say sovereignty, we must be very specific to what territory this sovereignty extends to.

The next pillar of that vision is state order, parliamentary democracy or democracy. I don't think there is much to comment here, firstly, we imagine the Republic of Armenia as having a parliamentary system of government and it is guaranteed that the government is formed exclusively based on the free expression of will of the people.

Our next slide is as follows: what is, after all, the purpose of the existence of the Republic of Armenia? This is a very important deep and fundamental question. My answer and our answer is as follows: the purpose of the existence of the Republic of Armenia is to ensure the freedom, happiness, and well-being of the citizens, as well as the people living in Armenia, but mainly citizens. Here I would like to draw our attention to the following nuance, and here we are talking about a very important conceptual nuance: the meaning of the existence of the Republic of Armenia is not to serve historical justice, not to serve national agendas, but to ensure the freedom, happiness, and well-being of the citizens of the Republic of Armenia. Moreover, please do not see a contradiction here, and we will address it later, between the relations of Armenia and the Diaspora, because any Armenian can receive the citizenship of the Republic of Armenia and become a direct beneficiary of this conversation, which is a very important institution.

Next, the rule of law, justice based on popularly agreed law. This is a very important circumstance, and this is what I wanted to talk about. Recently, I have talked about the fact that in Armenia there has been and continues to be, if we can say so, the demand for justice, the need for justice, but it is also very important that we, the citizens of the Republic of Armenia, the people of the Republic of Armenia, be the author, creator, source of the standard of justice. I say again, I have talked about it many times, the people should be not the author of the text, but the author of the principles, the author of the standards, and this is another conversation that we will continue in the future.

Our next slide is about economic order. We see the economic order as social justice based on work and business freedom. What does this mean, what additional comment do I have on this thesis? The thesis is that everyone in the Republic of Armenia should have the opportunity to work, realize their work abilities and determine their social status. It is very important to note that social justice must be based on work. In other words, we should give everyone the opportunity to occupy his own social milestone through the full expression of his objective abilities. That is, he who can become rich by his work, should become rich, he who can become middle class by his work, should be middle class, who can be above the middle class, should be above the middle class.

Of course, understandably, there will be people who will also need social support, ongoing social support. This is also part of the logic of social justice, but we should support even those who need social assistance so that they can provide for their family's well-being through work, because, as I have said before, many times, no one can live well on social assistance. It's out of the question. With social assistance one can, if one may say so, live well for a day, three days, a week, but even this cannot be called well-being, because well-being has a much deeper meaning, and saying well-being we understand that deep meaning.

Our next point is about the regional environment, and it sounds like this: deepening and developing the neighborliness with Georgia and Iran, managing, reducing, zeroing out of hostility with Turkey and Azerbaijan, regional transport integration, establishing, deepening, developing. economic ties. From this rather extensive text, I want to comment first of all on the phrase "hostility management". What does "hostility management" mean? "Management of hostility" means, firstly, to ensure that this hostility does not have uncontrollable manifestations in our region, secondly, to bring it to the stage of reduction, and in terms of long-term strategy, to move it in the direction of zeroing. And of course, in this context, you see that we give special importance to the "Crossroads of Peace" project, because we consider that bringing hostility to zero, or even its reduction, is possible when economic communications are open and those communications are used for business and, at the same time, combined with economic interest, this issue can also be considered a feasible political issue in the long run. I would like to emphasize again that I have made a very narrow reference here, not addressing broader foreign policy issues, which I am sure I will address during the question-and-answer phase.

Our next thesis is about security, and here we envision security as: diversification of foreign relations, reform of the military, introduction of a comprehensive security and defense system. But I want to say again that, of course, this list of security components is not comprehensive, and whatever we list, whatever we add to it, it is very important to emphasize that it is our belief that the most effective security tool is legitimacy. In other words, diversification of foreign relations on the basis of legitimacy, because on the basis of non-legitimacy, those relations will a) never be diversified and b) even if they become diverse, they will not have positive effects on security.

Second, army reforms. various concepts of army reforms can be discussed, but if these reforms are not based on legitimacy, on the idea of ensuring the sovereignty of the Republic of Armenia and the security of the sovereign territory, these reforms will not take place and will not take place for a number of objective and subjective reasons. A comprehensive security and defense system can be effective when it is based on a legitimate foundation: the need and vision of sovereign territory, and the need to ensure the sovereignty of Armenia. And I hope that we will discuss this, the army reforms and our expectations from the army in general, during the question-and-answer session.

Next- the problem. we talked about the goal, but it's also very important to acknowledge the problem. Our problem is economic development, because it is with economic development that it is possible to ensure the implementation and realization of all the aforementioned theses. And I want to emphasize that in economic development we do not consider social development secondary at all, in the sense that by social development we mean the development of human capital, that is, the expansion of people's opportunities, the development of human talent and their, as I already mentioned, work and enabling business activities.

And the last slide is about our code of conduct. Accordingly, all our decisions must flow from the vision outlined above. In other words, we must first adjust our goals and make all our decisions serve those goals. And in this regard, I want to emphasize once again, I have had occasion to say before, in different formats, that it is very important that we clarify the concept of state interest, because everyone knows that decisions should be based on state interest, but what is the state interest? Sometimes, we blur the state interest too much and deprive it of concreteness. I also consider it a practical matter that we make the state interest concrete. I had occasion to say and I want to reaffirm my position today that the state interest of the Republic of Armenia is development in general and socio-economic development in particular. And therefore, all our decisions should be evaluated according to how much they correspond to the vision of Armenia's development.

And now, as a summary, I want to say the following, based on what was said. All this, what I said, has a theoretical significance, but it also has a very practical significance, because the question arises: what is needed in order for all this to be implemented? To achieve all this, peace is needed, and this is why the government has adopted and is consistently implementing the peace agenda. And, of course, as before, now we, not only the government, but also, I think, the public, consider the issue of security and security guarantees to be the most important issue. And when we adopted the peace agenda, we adopted the peace agenda also against the background of the fact that the system of security guarantees of the Republic of Armenia does not work due to the well-known circumstances, we have talked about it many times and I do not want to repeat it, and I had the opportunity to say that only it is peace that can guarantee the security of Armenia. And we have adopted the peace agenda as a means of ensuring the security of the Republic of Armenia and we are implementing it as a system of guaranteeing the security of the Republic of Armenia. We talk a lot, and we've talked a lot about what we should do in situations where there are a lot of security issues and the guarantees that we previously belived to exist didn't work.

Our approach has been that we have to create those security guarantees. And I want to record that what is happening today in the Republic of Armenia is the process of creating security guarantees. The border posts that are being installed in the Tavush region are the pillars of security guarantees of the Republic of Armenia, and we are doing everything and will do everything in the direction of strengthening and multiplying these posts-guarantees.

Dear colleagues, of course, I don't want this epilogue to last long, but I want to spend a few more minutes addressing, in my opinion, an extremely important issue. Look, we are talking about the Real Armenia, we talked about the territory, about the status, about the economy, about security, but, of course, the most important and central importance for the state is its value system, on the values that the state is based. And I must emphasize, and this is a very important emphasis, that for the first time in the national security strategy of Armenia, adopted in 2019, a reference was made or an attempt was made to summerize the value system on which the state relies in one document. I already said in my speech that the processes brought us to the conviction that Armenia's development strategy needs to be revised. In this sense, of course, I think, and it is obvious, that Armenia's national security strategy should be reviewed, and the process of this revising has begun at the working level. But I want, also predetermining that such a question may also arise or will inevitably arise, ask myself: do I think that the value system and national values recorded in the national security strategy of Armenia should be revised? I want to say, no, I do not think that the national values recorded there should be revised. I believe that the wording about national values recorded there should be reformulated as follows. I will now read the version that I propose and will propose as a discussion material in the context of the revising Armenia's national security strategy and, in general, as a value basis for this vision of Armenia. Accordingly, the national values of the people of the Republic of Armenia are:

Armenian statehood, the Republic of Armenia,
Independence, sovereignty, citizenship, democracy, army of the Republic of Armenia,

The history of Armenia, the folklore of the Armenian people, the epic, beliefs, legends, myths,

Armenian language and letters, Armenian literature, including translated literature, knowledge, science,

Pan-Armenian potential, Armenian Diaspora,

Homeland, family, individual,

Armenian Apostolic Holy Church, Armenian Catholic Church, Armenian Evangelical Church, Christianity,

Armenian Ashugh, Gusan, folk, classical, original and pop music, Armenian dance, Armenian fine arts, Armenian stage art, Armenian architecture,

Native nature with its biodiversity,

Progress, liberalism, self-love, hospitality, love of learning, diligence, law-abiding, respect and tolerance towards other people, peoples, religions,

Fraternal feelings and relations towards national minorities and inseparable union with them, expressed by the citizenship of the Republic of Armenia,

Armenian cuisine, all those samples of tangible and intangible heritage that express, depict, describe or symbolize the national values of thr people of the Republic of Armenia described above.

And here, of course, there are one or two questions that I would like to comment on, related to Armenia-Diaspora relations, homeland-state relations, but I think I will do it in the question-and-answer phase.

Now, I will gladly answer all your questions."

Next, Nikol Pashinyan answered many questions of media representatives.



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