Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has introduced newly appointed Minister of Defense Davit Tonoyan to the staff today and noted that “this appointment reflects the policy that the new government intends to apply in the process of development of the armed forces”.
“It was important for us to keep the change of government organic and protect the army from any political shocks,” noted the Prime Minister.
He has outlined the priorities for the Ministry of Defense, in the form of a task:
“Top priority is continuous increase of combat readiness of our army. The next priority, which we intend to get done in the nearest future and for which we consider Davit Tonoyan’s candidacy the most fitting, concerns depoliticization of the army. The army mustn’t be involved as a party in any political processes, including elections.”
Pashinyan has added that the Armenian Armed Forces must not be pro-government or opposition and should not consider themselves a political factor.
The head of the government is certain that the mentioned process has to go on until completion.
“We must exclude the possibility of a situation where parents of conscripts have to take the supply function upon themselves and buy the uniform, hygiene products, etc. for their children,” said the Prime Minister.
Pashinyan considers it imperative to carry out the anti-smoking campaign in the army and nationwide.
He has emphasized as well that people often return from the army with a lower educational qualification than before the service.
“It is the most serious problem. We all need to work together intensively and understand the peculiarities of the solution. Our soldiers should return from the army with a higher educational qualification, i.e. organizing the learning process for the servicemen is extremely important,” stressed Pashinyan.
Touching on accidents and incidents in the army, the Prime Minister has noted:
“We must not allow the news of a soldier’s death to become just a part of usual newsfeed for the public. Any death in the army caused by Azerbaijani army’s action or an accident must be investigated thoroughly. We must make conclusions and prevent repetition of the incidents.”
Nikol Pashinyan has thanked former Defense Minister Vigen Sargsyan and added that the army has the complete trust of the Armenian people.
Davit Tonoyan has stated that the Prime Minister’s instructions will be reflected in the government program in a very short period of time.
“I assure you that the combat readiness of Armenian Armed Forces will reach the level that will create favorable conditions for you in the negotiation process, including from the position of strength,” said the Defense Minister.