Press releases

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan introduces newly appointed Defense Minister David Tonoyan to senior Army staff


more 6 photos

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan visited the Defense Ministry to introduce newly appointed Defense Minister David Tonoyan to senior Army staff.

“I understand that David Tonoyan need not to be introduced to the staff of Defense Ministry as he has worked for many years in the Ministry and in the system of the Armed Forces. I am convinced that all of you know him better than I can introduce. I want to emphasize that this appointment essentially expresses the policy we are going to pursue in the direction of the development of the armed forces. It is important to ensure that changes in the government are implemented organically so that the Armed Forces are not affected by political turbulences,” the Prime Minister said.

Nikol Pashinyan underscored that the normal development of the Armed Forces, the problems for the government will be an absolute priority as the security of Armenia and the Artsakh Republic is at stake. As the Head of Government noted, it is necessary to make every effort in order to steadily enhance the level of security in the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh.

The Prime Minister presented the priorities he has formulated as a problem for the Minister of Defense. “The first and most important problem is to ensure continued increase in the Army’s combat readiness. Today, the international reputation of the Republic of Armenia is high and continues to rise, which means that our country’s positions keep strengthening in international relations and the negotiation process and should continue to be strengthened.

I also want to emphasize that the Army, the Armed Forces should be a strong support for Armenia’s diplomacy and the talks process. The next issue that we are going to address in the near future, considering that David Tonoyan is the most appropriate candidate, is the de-politicization of the army.

I have had the opportunity to express my gratitude to the representatives of our army and the Armed Forces of the Artsakh Republic that during the recent internal political crisis, the Armed Forces have not been able to become part of the political process, which is envisaged by the Constitution. This testifies to the high level of our institutional commitment to our Armed Forces. This process should be continued.

During the political processes, including the elections, the army should not be involved as a party to the electoral process, our task is to ensure the freedom of choice for each citizen of Armenia and, in this respect, every Armenia citizen serving in the Armed Forces should be free in their choice, because that is what the Constitution and laws are designed to do, and this should be applicable to everyone from rank-and-file to Generals,” Nikol Pashinyan said, adding that the Armed Forces should not be pro-government, oppositional and their political factor to be considered. The Prime Minister expressed conviction that the solution to this problem is realistic, and the process should be brought to successful completion.

Coming to the next issue, the Premier pointed out, “We must rule out the situation when the parents of soldiers need to provide material support by sending their children clothing, hygienic supplies, etc. We have talked about this topic with the General Staff and, as a result, I have stated that we can consider this practice eradicated.

In all cases, when parents come to face such a problem, I call on them not to comply with, but to apply to media outlets and to the Prime Minister’s staff.
I have the assurances of the Armed Forces representatives that we are able to provide our soldiers with all necessary supplies, which is the obligation of the State.”

The Premier considered it necessary to implement an anti-tobacco policy nationwide, including in the Armed Forces.

Touching upon the organization of the educational process in the Armed Forces, Nikol Pashinyan noted that servicemen often return to civilian life with a lower educational level than when they were drafted.

“I consider this a serious problem. We all have to actively cooperate and understand the nuances of its solution. Servicemen should return from the army with higher credits, which means that our soldiers’ continued education is very important, "the Prime Minister emphasized.

Speaking about the incidents and accidents in the Armed Forces, Nikol Pashinyan emphasized: “We should not allow the news of a soldier’s death to become a common mass media headline. Any incident caused by enemy’s actions should be seriously investigated; conclusions must be made in order to prevent them in the future. Each case should result in serious conclusions in order to minimize the risk of recurrence. I am not saying that it has not been the case so far, but the public should be convinced that we are doing our best to safeguard and ensure each soldier’s life and security. In fact, this is a top priority, and I hope that the Defense Minister may cope with it. "

The Prime Minister thanked Former Defense Minister Vigen Sargsyan and the Armed Forces for dedicated service, noting that the Armed Forces of Armenia enjoy our people’s full confidence.

“This is extremely important. At the same time, I am happy to state that we have a government in Armenia that enjoys the people’s confidence, perhaps not as much as the Army, but at least we have a positive situation, which is exceptional. This should be translated into specific actions that will drastically change the security environment of Armenia and, as a result, the positive atmosphere in the country,” Nikol Pashinyan emphasized.

David Tonoyan thanked the Prime Minister for confidence and assured that it was a great honor for him to return to a friendly environment - the Ministry of Defense. The Minister said that the Prime Minister’s instructions will be reflected in the new government’s program within a short period of time.

“I assure you that the Armed Forces’ combat readiness will be at such a high level that will create favorable conditions for you in the process of talks, so that you could negotiate from the positions of power, if necessary,” David Tonoyan said.

← Back to list