Statements and messages of the Prime Minister of RA

Reforming the army, having a strong and combat-ready army is the sovereign right of every country, and we will continue to follow this path. Prime Minister Pashinyan


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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan attended the festive event dedicated to the 32nd anniversary of the formation of the Army of the Republic of Armenia at the Karen Demirchyan Sport and Concert Complex in Yerevan. The President of the Republic Vahagn Khachaturyan, the President of the National Assembly Alen Simonyan, representatives of the legislative, executive, judiciary bodies, the top military officers of the Republic of Armenia, ambassadors accredited to the Republic of Armenia were also present at the event.

At the beginning of the event, the national anthem of the Republic of Armenia was performed, and then the attendees observed a minute of silence in memory of the Armenians who sacrificed their lives for the sake of the motherland.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan made a speech, in which he specifically stated:

"Honorable President of the Republic of Armenia,
Honorable President of the National Assembly,

Dear representatives of the legislative, executive, judiciary, local self-government bodies,

Dear Minister of Defense, Deputy Ministers, Gentlemen Generals and Officers, dear servicemen, dear attendees, dear compatriots,

Today we celebrate the 32nd anniversary of the establishment of our army, and on this day, we first of all kneel before our servicemen and volunteers who fell, remaining faithful to their oath to the Republic of Armenia.

It should be noted that the 32nd anniversary of the formation of the Army of the Republic of Armenia is an opportunity to think more, to face the problems we have in the field of army building and security, and even failures.

This makes us record that we cannot continue to have an army based on outdated standards and outdated concepts of military affairs, because this would mean questioning our will to have a state.

The first thing that should change in our army is the mindset. And that change should be expressed in every detail, starting with the uniform, continuing with the appearance of each soldier, continuing with the environment at permanent deployment sites, weapons and equipment, the salary of servicemen and the system of social guarantees, our requirements for the professional skills of servicemen and the degree of ideological training of each serviceman. We have started this process, but I also cannot say that we are moving fast enough.

As in many circles of the state system, here too, I think, our ideas about speed need to change. The ideas about speed in the army should also be changed, and here we are talking not only about the speed of reforms, but also about the speed of the army's actions. What we used to think of as fast is now hopelessly slow, starting from the speed of assessing the situation to the speed of decision-making, commanding and execution of orders.

Strategically, we are proceeding with the logic of having a professional army, and in this sense, the "Motherland Defender" program is our greatest success in recent years, which is right now becoming the foundation and cornerstone of a professional army. This is a system that allows conscripts to become at least 5-year contract soldiers, receive a monthly salary of 450,000, sometimes 500,000 AMD or more as a result of voluntary certification, serve in the nearest military unit and live at home during the service as a professional, and at the end of the five-year term, receive 5 million AMD in a lump sum, regardless of whether he wants to extend the term of the contract for another 5 years or not.

But also against this background, I consider it necessary to emphasize that the army should stop being an object of cheap toasts or a cheap object of toasts. Because when you try to understand what is hidden in the depths of those toasts, you face the bitter reality that less than half of the military draft age group is drafted into the army.

This either means that our generation has serious health problems, or the draft remains the most flourishing environment of corruption in the Republic of Armenia, where representatives of the medical community, the military and the public are allied with each other. If this is the case, and there is such a possibility, this is an alliance that destroys the state, and it is our duty to break the backbone of that alliance, because that alliance calls into question the right of our state to exist. Here, of course, the question of the effectiveness of the law enforcement system is very acute, on the other hand, we must go the way of institutional reforms, resolute decisions, so as not to leave room or minimize the possibility of abuses.

Starting from this year, we are introducing the women's voluntary-compulsory military service model, and I believe that our women can make a significant, greater contribution to the country's defense, and it is symbolic that today the first female soldier to be conscripted under the new system will be sworn in here.

I also want to remind that women who are conscripted for voluntary-mandatory military service will receive a one-time honorarium of 1 million AMD at the end of the six-month service, and all women aged 17-27 can apply for the six-month service. We hope that a significant part of the women passing the six-month service will continue service as a contractual, where there will already be salary opportunities that are also available for men through voluntary certification under the "Motherland defender" program. Women should become one of the reliable pillars of our professional army.

It should also be noted that no professional army alone is capable of protecting the country's security in war situations, and having a combat-ready reserve force is our next strategic task. In this sense, the 25-day training camps alongside the regular military service are extremely important. But today we see many gaps in that system and I expect that these problems will be solved with resolute decisions. Those problems start from the level of army drafting, to the quality and content of the 25-day training camps. Above all, here we have serious cracks in soldier-soldier, soldier-officer, officer-officer relations that we have to fill. In general, all attempts and factors to turn the army into an open or semi-open regime penitentiary must be eradicated with consistent and decisive steps. This applies to both 25-day training camps and mandatory and contract military service.

We pay special attention to military education and increasing the attractiveness of officer work, and in this regard, I would like to highlight the programs of providing housing for graduates of the military academy named after Vazgen Sargsyan, as well as the establishment of the Officer High School and the Officer University in the Academic City. Strengthening the intellectual pillar of the Army of the Republic of Armenia is a key component of increasing combat capability and we must pay special attention to it as well.

Dear attendees,

We also need to reconsider our strategic thinking about security.

It is necessary to admit that the ideas rooted in us about safety and security systems and their operational formulas turned to be disastrous for us and there is no other option for the Republic of Armenia than the diversification of security relations.

And we're going that way. We are on the path of acquiring new and modern weapons and equipment, and in recent years the Government has signed contracts for the purchase of several billion USD weapons and ammunition.

The military-industrial complex of the Republic of Armenia has an unprecedented order from the Armenian government worth several hundred million dollars, and of course, we will continue to invest in the military-industrial complex, simultaneously increasing the funding of science and education.

For these achievements and the investment opportunity, I want to thank again and again all the law-abiding taxpayers of the Republic of Armenia, who are practically implementing the motto "get rich and make others rich" proposed by us in 2018. And I must record that the tax revenues of the 2023 budget exceeded the revenues of the 2017 budget by about 2.5 billion USD. And it is also with these funds that the reform of the army and armed forces is being carried out.

Reforming the army, having a strong and combat-ready army is the sovereign right of every country and we will continue to follow this path. A strong and capable army is one of the most important factors ensuring the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of the Republic of Armenia, but it is not the only factor. From the point of view of ensuring security, I would like to emphasize two more key factors: foreign relations and the legitimacy of the conducted policies from the point of view of international law.

Hence, legitimacy should be the most important factor ensuring Armenia's external security. What do I mean? I mean that the Republic of Armenia should identify itself within the territory on which it was recognized by the international community. It is the territory of the Armenian SSR, which is identical to the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia. We must state clearly and unequivocally that we do not and will not have any ambitions for any other territory, and this should become the strategic basis for ensuring Armenia's external security.

Honorable President of the Republic of Armenia,
Dear attendees,

I have to also refer to a number of aggressive statements coming from different sides, and in particular from Azerbaijan, related to the reforms of the Republic of Armenia's army, the acquisition of weapons and equipment. I already said that having a strong and capable army is the sovereign right of every country and no one can question our right. If anyone questions that right of ours, they question our right to exist. In this case, we will have no choice but to defend our statehood, our independence, our territorial integrity by all possible and impossible means.

I record once again that the Republic of Armenia has no claim to any territory other than its sovereign territory and no one should have any claim to any territory of the Republic of Armenia. As I said, we are ready to give such guarantees, lasting and irreversible guarantees, but we expect similar guarantees from others.

We are ready to go that way and we have offered several additional security guarantee mechanisms to Azerbaijan. For example, a simultaneous withdrawal of troops from the administrative border of the Armenian SSR and the Azerbaijani SSR. That border became a state border with the 1991 Alma-Ata Declaration, and Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed on October 6, 2022 in Prague that they recognize each other's territorial integrity on that basis. The simultaneous withdrawal of troops will make it possible for all the territories of the Azerbaijan SSR to be under the control of Azerbaijan, and all the territories of the Armenian SSR under the control of Armenia.

We have also offered demilitarization of the border to Azerbaijan. Also a mutual arms control mechanism, also the signing of a non-aggression pact if it turns out that signing a peace treaty will take longer than expected.

The Republic of Armenia is committed to the peace agenda and will not deviate from that agenda.

Honorable President of the Republic of Armenia,
Dear attendees,

Summarizing my speech, I want to thank all the servicemen of the Army of the Republic of Armenia who are impeccable, professional and loyal to their oath to the Republic of Armenia.

Glory to the martyrs and long live the Republic of Armenia.

Long live the Republic of Armenia."

On the occasion of the Army Day, Prime Minister Pashinyan awarded a group of servicemen of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Armenia with a commemorative medal of the Prime Minister for their contribution to the security and defense of the motherland.

Defense Minister Suren Papikyan also made a speech during the event.

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