Vigen Sargsyan will continue to perform his duties until a new minister is appointed
“I am excluding myself from the work of the new government.”
Vigen Sargsyan, the temporary Acting Minister of Defence of Armenia stated at a meeting with journalists that he will continue to fulfill his duties until a new minister is appointed.
Vigen Sargsyan is a member of the Republican Party of Armenia, against which Nikol Pashinyan started protesting in April 2018. The movement headed by Pashinyan was supported by thousands of the country’s residents. Serzh Sargsyan, the leader of the Republican Party of Armenia, resigned as prime minister.
The People’s Movement demanded to elect its leader, Nikol Pashinyan, as the head of the government. The parliamentary majority failed in the first round of elections as the opposition did not receive enough votes to elect Pashinyan. However, on 8 May, during the second round of elections, the parliamentary majority supported his candidacy. The Republicans noted that they were still against Pashinyan’s candidacy but that they supported him only for the sake of stability in the country.
Vigen Sargsyan has stressed that he does not see himself in the new team due to political disagreements with Nikol Pashinyan, the new Prime Minister:
“The newly formed team will not be able to ensure progress. I have political views that do not allow me to work in this team. But nothing will deter me from fulfilling my duties until someone can be found to take over my responsibility.
“I exclude my work in the new government because the minister is not a hired worker. The minister is a political position, and there are political views. It is difficult to be an effective minister when you do not serve a common goal.”
Vigen Sargsyan said that he would do everything possible to ensure that his successor works successfully, and that he would pass on all the necessary information to the new minister.
“What happened is not a revolution.”
Vigen Sargsyan has also touched on recent events and the election of Nikol Pashinyan, the leader of the movement against the former authorities, to the post of prime minister. The Acting Minister said that he did not consider what had happened to be a revolution. In his opinion, it was a change of power.
He said that at present the Republican Party of Armenia, which holds the majority in the parliament and which conceded the post of prime minister to the minority, is a constructive opposition, and time will show how this situation will work in practice.
“The accumulation of military forces on the border is continuing.”
Last month’s events which were initiated by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, which became known as the Velvet Revolution, were accompanied by tension on the border. According to Vigen Sargsyan, the tension has not caused any shots to be fired as yet.
“There was congestion of military forces on the border, which continue to take place,” he said.
Sargsyan stressed that the Armenian armed forces continue to monitor the situation and are ready to resort to retaliatory actions ‘at any moment’.
According to Vigen Sargsyan, it is necessary to link state institutions with the armed forces, especially in a country like Armenia where every 40th resident is a soldier.
“People need to understand what a big army means for a small country,” he added.
The acting minister considers that security is an above-the-party notion, and the defense of the country is not the work of just one party or a parliamentary majority.