Prime Minister Pashinyan calls the practice a 'disgrace'
High-ranking officials continue to use bribes in an attempt to keep their sons from mandatory army service in Armenia. This was stated by the Prime Minister of the country, Nikol Pashinyan:
“The police, the Prosecutor General’s Office and the National Security Service are now looking at cases of military service evasion. I regret to state that, according to preliminary data, we still have abuse in the conscription field. It’s amazing that in such a country as ours, there can be such offenses on the part of officials. It’s just a disgrace.”
Pashinyan also added that the authorities will fight hard against corruption in the army:
“There are so many political statements and we talk about it so much, but, apparently, some people think that we are joking. After this they go make deals, give or take bribes, and are arrested. And then these same people are surprised as to why it happened to them. I officially declare once again that there will be an uncompromising fight against corruption.”
The Armenian media have reported that the Ministry of Defense is actively engaged in cases of military service evasion. Moreover, ordinary citizens as well as officials are being investigated.
Meanwhile, Pashinyan confirmed that his son is serving in the army in Karabakh and that it was his own choice. Pashinyan insists that this is not an aggressive gesture, as some have suggested, but a peaceful one:
“I think we all understand that when I send my son to Karabakh, I do not want a war to begin there. And God forbid that my son and the sons of my compatriots and the sons of ordinary Azerbaijani citizens perish. Of course this is a problem for me. I do not want this to happen.
“I would be glad if President Ilham Aliyev also sent his son to serve. We are all sure that Mr. Aliyev would not want his son to die either, and I would take it as a peaceful gesture.”