Statements and messages of the Prime Minister of RA

“Armenia’s external and internal security is the priority of all priorities” – PM congratulates National Security Service staff on professional holiday


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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan attended a gala event on the occasion of National Security Officer’s Day. Addressing the audience, the Prime Minister stated:

“Mr. Acting National Security Service Director,
National Security Service Staff,
Government Members, Officials,
Dear journalists,

Congratulations to all of us on National Security Officer’s Day. I would like to specifically emphasize that the activities of the National Security Service are closely related to the interests and security of all citizens of the Republic of Armenia without exception.

I have repeatedly stated that Armenia’s external and internal security is a priority of all priorities. We have several institutions, institutions that ensure the security of the country, and one of these important structures is the National Security Service. As Prime Minister, I can say that that over the past 1.5 years the National Security Service has fulfilled the task assigned to it. There is much criticism about the NSS, but I want to note that a huge part of NSS activities is invisible to the public. Security is a phenomenon that is often overlooked and not usually visible. People do not usually thank the security service for good work because it is taken for granted. And when security is questioned at least a little bit, everyone pulls out their swords and attacks the authority responsible for it. I want to take this opportunity to thank the NSS for dedicated service.

The Prime Minister noted with regret that the Republic of Armenia still finds itself in such a geopolitical environment that gives rise to security challenges. “Unfortunately, we are located in a region where the situation is too volatile; where the situation keeps aggravating day after day. We will have long-term security challenges, ranging from the threat of terrorism to border security, and so on. But I want to emphasize that according to the latest data, the Republic of Armenia is on the list of safest countries in the world. Fancy what, a country in a state of conflict, a country with two closed borders out of four suddenly becomes one of the safest countries in the world. This fact is unfortunately often overlooked.

And I deem it important to draw your attention to the aforementioned important fact. That is why I wish to extend a special vote of thanks to the National Security Service and other security bodies of our country: the Armed Forces, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Ministry of Defense, the Police and the law enforcement system, in general. Nevertheless, this does not mean that I think that the NSS or any other body is working perfectly. No one can feel so, and no one can think that there is a body in Armenia - public or private, which works perfectly. And in general, no country has an ideal working body. And it is very important to note that we consider the improvement of state institutions as the most important priority, and there is no doubt that we will move consistently in that direction,” Nikol Pashinyan said.

The Premier reminded that there has been a lot of talk about how much he trusts the NSS, which acted in the times when he was an opposition politician, and before that, when he was a political prisoner.

“We all know very well what has happened, but I want to say something that I think is very important: of course, at different times, the law enforcement system, including the NSS, works in different conditions, in different environments. However, I want to say that even at that time, the NSS (taking into account also the understandable nuances of its activities) never crossed, at least as much as my own experience is concerned, the red lines that could exist at all in public relations. For this reason, today, as the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, I trust the National Security Service of the Republic of Armenia, because I understand that the NSS should not be an entity to fit the government in office. The NSS should be a national security service in the literal sense of the word, under any government, without exception.

And this is the number one mission for this structure. And I want to say that all the more so, being the prime minister and the head of government, who is 100 percent sure that all his activities, with all the nuances, without exception meet the interests of the national security of the Republic of Armenia, national interests, state interests, such a prime minister, such a government cannot have a bit of mistrust in the NSS. And I think that our biggest task is to implement balanced reforms in the NSS in the coming years to make its work more efficient. And, in particular, yes, I agree with the remarks that over time the National Security Service will make less effort in the fight against corruption in order to focus on counterintelligence issues and on combating terrorism; it should focus on maintaining the constitutional order and curbing violence.

Unfortunately, a very large part of our society does not realize the entire coverage of security activities. And I want to highlight a few other areas that remain out of the public eye. I mean intelligence, counter-intelligence, border troops, the fight against terrorism, which is usually out of sight, perhaps for objective and subjective reasons.

Dear attendees,

It is crucial for us to provide the NSS with proper working conditions. I mean that the NSS officers should have specific mechanisms and guarantees of social and psychological protection appropriate to their service. This is one of the most important nuances in the context of which we represent the further development of this institution.

Dear Acting National Security Service Director,
National Security Service officers,
Government members and officials,

Reiterating my congratulations on the upcoming National Security Service Officer’s Day, I wish we could celebrate this day with a higher spirit and more confidence every other year in a way that security issues could be tackled at a higher level in our country so that no one might pose a serious threat to the security of the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Artsakh, and the Armenian people. Our security is in strong hands, our security is in safe hands, and this security and stability should be preserved for the benefit of the people of Armenia, the people of Artsakh and the Armenian people as a whole, as well as our statehoods,” Prime Minister Pashinyan noted.

On the occasion of National Security Officer’s Day, for courage and selfless service a group of NSS officers were awarded state awards and medals, letters of appreciation and commemorative medals of the Prime Minister. Colonel Arthur Aghajanyan, Colonel Levon Shaumyan and Colonel Karen Garibyan were awarded the 2nd Class Medal For Merit to the Fatherland.

Major-General Yesai Mkrtchyan, Colonel Vahan Tadevosyan, Colonel Nairi Margaryan, Colonel Hrant Agasaryan, Lt. Col. Karen Aleksanyan, Lt. Col. Samvel Grigoryan, Lt. Col. Arthur Gasparyan were awarded the Medal For Courage.

Prime Minister’s honorary diplomas were handed to Lieutenant-General Stepan Melkonyan, Major-General Aram Hakobyan, Major-General Tigran Harutyunyan, Colonel Mikael Hambartsumyan, Colonel Narek Poghosyan and Colonel Karen Alchangyan.

Prime Minister letters of appreciation were presented to Lieutenant-Colonel Hambartsum Virabyan, Major Arthur Charchyan and Lieutenant Ghazar Ghazaryan.

Gohar Vardanyan was posthumously awarded the Order of Honor for many years of impeccable service in the security system and for selfless devotion to the Motherland.

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