Today, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan visited the National Security Service and participated in the solemn sitting dedicated to the Day of the National Security Officer.
PM Pashinyan delivered remarks, saying,
"Dear Director of the National Security Service,
Congratulations on National Security Officer's Day, I want to thank you for your work and service.
I must emphasize that particularly over the past year we witnessed tangible, visible improvement in the efficiency of the work of the National Security Service bodies, and that after the catastrophic war of 2020, when the country entered a phase of deep political, psychological and confidence crisis, the Republic of Armenia was able to overcome that stage without deterioration of the situation.
I would like to draw our attention to the fact that since November 2020, no shots have been fired inside the Republic of Armenia. In fact, no civil clashes occurred, which, on the one hand, is unprecedented for countries that have passed through such situations, on the other hand, it records and emphasizes the effective work of a number of our state bodies, including the National Security Service.
In this regard, I must emphasize that during the last year, the National Security Service, together with a number of other structures, has performed a very essential and important function of maintaining and protecting our statehood, sovereignty, independence and I would like to thank you once again for performing the function effectively. But we must also emphasize that the existing challenges we face are not neutralized, and we must use the experience we gained during this period for being more effective in preserving statehood, sovereignty, independence, our Constitution, legislation, and our territorial integrity.
On the other hand, the following should also be emphasized. After all, what taught and showed us 2020? It showed that in many occasions we have a problem with the institutional development of state institutions. There is a saying in Armenian: "We remove another's eye from the outside, ours from the inside." In many cases, yes, we manage to create a certain image for state bodies based on the content of many years of service, but sometimes we see in practice that these bodies are not provided with sufficient capacities and capabilities, including technical, substantive, systemic. This is our biggest challenge at the moment, so that we can make sure that our state bodies, including the National Security Service, are finally in line with the environment in which they operate today. In the environment of the 21st century, when technologies are developing and being introduced in practical life on a daily basis, falling behind in this field means not being able to manage the challenges facing the country.
Of course, at the same time we must record the following: the level of salaries that we have today in the bodies responsible for the statehood, independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity of our country, the level of those salaries, payments, monetary satisfaction does not correspond to the challenges our state bodies faced, face now and will face in the future.
I am not saying that we must solve all these problems in one action now, but we must record all this in order to be in the right position, to be able to organize our work properly. Particularly now, when, in fact, a new situation is emerging in the region, when the Armenian Government has declared the policy of opening an era of peaceful development for Armenia and the region, which means that in this new environment the tasks set in front of the National Security Service will become much more complicated. Because, firstly, political statements do not still mean that they will be successfully implemented, and secondly, if we move forward successfully in this direction, the management of challenges will be much more complicated, much more difficult.
But I would also like to note that after the Sochi and Brussels meetings, I see an opportunity that we can move forward step by step to the opening of an era of peaceful development for our country and the region. At least, the Government of the Republic of Armenia will do everything in its power to make progress in this direction. But especially in these conditions and environment, the National Security Service must redouble its vigilance, increase its efficiency, because the creation of this new environment is a very responsible and important task, which, of course, we must try to implement together.
I would also like to address the following questions, because this topic has been discussed a lot and I am sure it will still be discussed a lot, even for centuries. It’s about when it is said that the Nagorno Karabakh conflict should and could have been resolved this way. Let it be solved. And why was not it solved? If it should and could have been solved in that way, why was not it solved? The Republic of Armenia has been involved in this process for a very long time, more than 20 years. We have constantly heard political statements, and when we returned and gained access to the content of the talks, we saw that in many cases the political statements made in Armenia have nothing to do with the content that was being formed around the negotiating table.
We do not want to go the same way. We want to speak in closed consultations, in public speeches, at the negotiating table within the framework of the same content. I'm not saying that closed and open door meetings should be 100% identical in content. I mean the directions, because any conversation, particularly referring to security, has many layers of confidentiality. But I say that our policy is the following. We do not want to say one thing inside, say another thing outside, and then fall into the traps created by the difference of what we said inside and outside.
This is our biggest problem, and I see here, that yes, we need the expert, professional assistance and support of the National Security Service's bodies for ensuring the correct political processes. On the other hand, we understand that the Government should be able to provide our National Security Service and the bodies of the National Security Service with such capacities that will make the issues set in front of it solvable. I must admit and note that, yes, for many years the National Security Service has been operating at an improper level in terms of technical systemic infrastructure. But, on the other hand, I must state that, nevertheless, a lot of problems have been solved by the National Security Service due to the dedication, professionalism and acknowledgement of the value of state service of numerous servicemen.
We never say that the work of our government bodies is perfect, but on solemn days like this we must especially emphasize the existing positive aspects in order to get a new impetus to solve the increasingly complex problems. And our task is clear: to strengthen the Republic of Armenia, to strengthen our statehood, our sovereignty, our independence, our territorial integrity, to ensure the existence of Artsakh, the full protection of the rights of the people of Artsakh, to achieve the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the international recognition of an acceptable status for Artsakh. And work in these directions will require a lot of dedication, consistency, balance from us.
Yes, in many cases we must change our standpoint, we must be able to bring our perceptions in line with the modern world and its challenges, we must be able to communicate with the world. You know, in many cases there is the impression, by the way, this refers to the whole period of our independence, that in many cases we have said what we wanted to say, in fact, not hearing or pretending not to hear how the international community reacts to it. Neither unfortunately, nor fortunately, you just have to record this, we live in an environment, that environment is the world, it is the international community, we must be more careful to understand the international community, and we must make every effort to be understood by the international community. This is the formula that must ensure the statehood, sovereignty, independence of the Republic of Armenia, the full protection of the rights of our compatriots in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Dear Mr. Abazyan,
I once again congratulate all of us on the National Security Officer's Day. Why do I say to all of us? Because the employees of the National Security bodies, the bodies by their activities, ensure and must ensure the security of the Republic of Armenia and all its citizens. The effective work of the National Security Service is in the interests of all citizens of the Republic of Armenia, without exception.”
On the occasion of National Security Officer's Day, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan handed over state awards to a group of NSS officers for their courage and dedication in performing their official duties.
Commander of the NSS Border Guard Troops, Colonel Arman Maralchyan was awarded with the "Courage" Medal.
The Head of the NSS Department, Colonel Davit Sanamyan, the Deputy Head of the Department, Colonel Vazgen Avetisyan, the Head of the Division of the Department, Lieutenant Colonel Davit Abrahamyan, the Head of the State Security Service, Lieutenant Colonel Edgar Aghakhanyan were awarded with the Medal for Combat Service.
The Deputy Director of the National Security Service, Colonel Samvel Hayrapetyan, Head of the Department, Colonel Arthur Poghosyan, Head of the General Department, Colonel Karen Gharibyan, Head of the Division, Colonel Armen Hakobyan, bodyguard, senior lieutenant at State Security Service Shavarsh Ulukhanyan, officer of the State Security Service, State Security Service officer, lieutenant Henrik Grigoryan were awarded with the Medal of the Prime Minister of Armenia for their contribution to strengthening the security of the Motherland, law and order.
The Head of the State Security Service, Major-General Sargis Hovhannisyan, Senior Special Investigator for Special Cases of the NSS Investigation Department, Major Arman Yeritsyan, junior inspector-sentry, NCO Anahit Jamkochyan, NCO Shahen Antonyan at the State Security Service were awarded with a letter of gratitude from the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia for conscientious and effective work.