I want to say without exaggeration, the announcement by the General Staff of the Armed Forces is a result of the influence of the ruling circles of 2008 on the military, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated during a rally in the Republic Square in Yerevan, Armenia, on March 1, 2021.
“This is not a guess, but a justified fact. Moreover, Serzh Sargsyan (President of Armenia, 2008-2018) used his influence on some of the Armed Forces servicemen to try to incite them against the people. I want to say that the statement of the General Staff is illegal, as the RA Constitution states, that the Armed Forces are politically neutral; but today they have taken an oppositional stance and broke all the rules, violating the RA Constitution”, Pashinyan said.
He reminded that the army should be apolitical, the “Civil Contract” party announced still on April 23, 2018, calling on servicemen to return to military service.
“Today, political forces are pushing the army to take out tanks against the people. It will not happen. The announcement of the army makes the dismissal of Onik Gasparyan from the post of the Chief of the General Staff inevitable. Armenia cannot have such a Chief of the General Staff who makes a political statement at Serzh Sargsyan’s instigation and the RPA (Republican Party of Armenia), who want to stifle the popular will under tank tracks, as in 2008.
On the other hand, this circumstance should not give rise to vendettas in the Armed Forces. Now, the Armed Forces and Onik Gasparyan have not crossed red lines and I want to make sure that they will not, but, inevitably, Onik Gasparyan must resign from the post of Chief of General Staff. There will be no vendettas in the Armed Forces regardless of who signed the document. Onik Gasparyan was the man who put that document on the table for signing and published it by Serzh Sargsyan's order. The Chief of General Staff appointed by me is carrying out the orders of the rejected man, which is the biggest betrayal. Onik Gasparyan must leave, the others must return to their service.
Some circles inspired the army soldiers that the army is turned into a scapegoat and the Government wants to arrest and prosecute our military. About 500 people were convinced they would be tried. They did this to hide a few culprits behind the back of many brave army heroes that spared nothing. Do not accept my statements de jure. I give a political assessment; it was done to hide a few cowards behind the heroes՛ back. We know who the cowards are and who the heroes are. You will not be able to turn the people's heroes against the people.
Dear Onik, you made a big mistake, you carried out the orders not of your leader, but of the people who plundered the country and were rejected by people in all possible places. It is the greatest violation and humiliation of the officer's honor,” Pashinyan announced.