‘We Have to Eliminate Culture of Barbed Wires,’ Says Pashinyan after Naming Security Chiefs

Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan
Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan

Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan

YEREVAN—The first appointments to new government posts were made Thursday when President Armen Sarkissian heeded the suggestion of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and appointed Artur Vanetsyan and Valery Osipyan as heads of the National Security Service and the National Police force respectively.

Osipayan, a familiar figure from street protests during the past two years will replace Vladimir Gasparyan while Vanetsyan will replace Georgy Koutoyan. The former security chiefs were relieved of their duties through a presidential decree.

After making the appointments, Pashinyan said he expected serious results from the newly-appointed security chiefs as they are the guarantors of national security and the safety of Armenia’s citizens.

“Our revolution has opened a new page. Before the revolution Veleri Osipyan and I, you and Valeri Osipyan, we and the Police were physically standing on the opposite sides of the barbed wires, and I thought that this decision will have certain symbolism,” said Pashinyan.

“After this decision we all have to be on the same side. This is symbolic and we have to try to eliminate the culture of barbed wires from the Republic of Armenia. I hope that Mr. Osipyan will justify the hopes of the citizens of Armenia, because today much depends on the police,” added Pashinyan.

“The citizens of Armenia must feel confident, protected and nothing must put at risk their feeling of being protected,” explained Pashinyan who said he had reviewed his vision of police protection and service with Osipyan.

In discussing the NSS Pashinyan emphasized the importance of the agency and warned that its functions must include a better monitoring of customs service to avoid violations.

“In fact, the NSS must properly carry out its functions linked with intelligence and counterintelligence, because this is the external component of security,” said Pashinyan who stressed that with the two appointments he anticipates the elimination corruption in Armenia. Pashinyan also noted that one of the key tasks of the NSS must be excluding any types of misuse in the customs sphere.

“The citizens of Armenia must feel the changes every day. The assessment of the work done by the Police Chief and NSS Director will be based on the results of the implementation of these tasks,” said Pashinyan.

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