Yerevan/Mediamax/. Prime Minister candidate, former President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan has delivered a speech in the National Assembly and answered the questions from MPs today.
Mediamax has selected several excerpts from the speech and the answers.
No desire to be a “shadow” Prime Minister
Serzh Sargsyan has noted that he could try to become the “shadow” Prime Minister and influence governance without taking a public office. However, he believes that it “would be a display of weakness and desire to avoid responsibility”, as well as a threat to the normal working process of the power vertical.
On the promise to never aspire to become Prime Minister
Serzh Sargsyan has stated that he is nominated for Prime Minister not as a former president or a public figure who has held several key positions in the government, but as the leader of the largest faction in the parliament.
On number one problem
Serzh Sargsyan has said that security will remain his number one goal. He has noted that modernization of the Armenian army, the purchase and production of new weapons, and improvement of living conditions for soldiers and officers will continue.
On the lessons learned from April War
Serzh Sargsyan has stated that the first lesson learned during the April War of 2016 is that “we should not hope that the adversary will abandon the desire to solve the Artsakh conflict by force”.
Serzh Sargsyan has stated that the negotiation process for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement “is being stalled by the unrealistic expectations of the Azerbaijani leadership, which are unacceptable for us”.
On Russia and the West
Serzh Sargsyan has noted that Armenia will continue developing allied relations with Russia and other members of CSTO and EAEU along with advancing the friendship with the European Union, USA and China. “Our principle remains the same: we refrain from gaining from others’ conflicts,” he said.
On his residence
Serzh Sargsyan has said that since the two previous presidents exercised the right to have a residence, he can too. When inquired by MP Artak Zeynalyan on the topic, he has noted that he sees no issue that contrary to Levon Ter-Petrosyan and Robert Kocharyan’s case, the house he is given is actually located in the area of official residences.