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 Monday, January 29 2024 12:31
Naira Badalian

Armenia proceeding with logic of having professional army - premier 

Armenia proceeding with logic of having professional army - premier 

ArmInfo.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.

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

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This makes us record that we cannot continue to have an army based on  outdated standards and outdated concepts of military affairs, because  this would mean questioning our will to have a state.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

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.

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.

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.  

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Լենդրուշ Սանթրոսյան
Никол Пашинян - великий руководитель и любимый полководец.

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