Armenia’s domestic instability paves way for Azerbaijani side to launch actions, says defense minister

By Armenpress | Monday, 23 April 2018

YEREVAN, APRIL 23, ARMENPRESS. In the circumstances of current threats, Armenia’s domestic instability, in terms of Azerbaijan’s issues put before itself, paves a way for Azerbaijanis to launch actions, defense minister Vigen Sargsyan said at a press briefing on April 23, adding that as a public administration structure the defense ministry’s duty is to remind about this issue, and the footage released by the Artsakh defense ministry on April 22 was the vivid proof that Azerbaijan conducts manpower and military equipment movements and accumulations in the Artsakh line of contact, reports Armenpress.

“I hope no one thinks that it could be a fake video, I hope you all understand that the adversary at any moment carefully follows our ongoing developments. We, as a state structure, must remind about this issue. This doesn’t prevent someone’s right to make his/her own decision, it doesn’t change our duty to continue fulfilling our tasks in the border, to ensure our country’s defense, security, territorial integrity and inviolability of borders even if the most severe situation is inside the country. It is our constitutional duty, we had to warn our people about the dangers. And these dangers are quite understandable”, Vigen Sargsyan noted.

He said it’s obvious that the Azerbaijani side follows these developments and if sees that processes are taking place inside the country, it is possible to try to do something on the border. When the public administration system is blocked the attempt of which is openly announced by the rally organizers, when the state structures do not fully operate, the roads are closed, it’s obvious that the defense function becomes difficult. “So can we not notice this? Our duty at the defense ministry is to act in another way. There is a problem of resource management. Let’s suppose the MFA’s building is blocked. Whether this contributes to or undermines the defense activity? The mobilization work is very important in the actions in case of the tension on shifting to a war situation”, the defense minister said, adding that the Board of the defense ministry issued a statement on the background of this tension and its silence would mean that they do not assess the current situation and threats.

The Board of the Armenian defense ministry issued a statement on April 22 over the ongoing protests in Yerevan, calling on the organizers and participants of the rallies to refrain from actions that can result in internal instability.

Street demonstrations and protests began in Yerevan 11 days ago, days before Armenia’s third President Serzh Sargsyan was elected by Members of Parliament to serve as Prime Minister. The historic vote – first time that a PM was elected by parliament in Armenia – took place April 17.

Earlier on April 9, the country shifted to a parliamentary system of administration. On the same day, President Armen Sarkissian took office.

Opposition protests began in the Armenian capital in the form of sit-ins, marches and demonstrations.

Led by opposition MP Nikol Pashinyan, the lawmaker from the parliamentary Yelk faction which has only 9 seats in the 105-seat Armenian Parliament, the protesters launched a campaign of civil disobedience.