Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian denounced an attempted military coup after the Armenian Army General Staff demanded his resignation. The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Armenia demanded the resignation of the prime minister in protest at the dismissal of the deputy chief of the General Staff, General Tigran Jachatrian. They believe that the prime minister acted “for myopic and unreasonable reasons, and without taking into account national interests.” Forty high-ranking military personnel sign the declaration. In the text, they denounce that “the inefficient governance of the current authorities and the serious errors in foreign policy have brought the country to the brink of collapse.”
Pashinyan, in jeopardy since the defeat against Azerbaijan that cost the country vast territories of Nagorno Karabakh last year, has chosen to defend itself by mobilizing the population. “I qualify the declaration of the General Staff as an attempted military coup. I summon all our followers to Republic Square right now. I will soon address the nation in a live broadcast,” Pashinian wrote on Facebook.
The firing of General Jachatrián came after he criticized the words of Prime Minister Pashinyan, who lamented the alleged ineffectiveness of Russia’s Iskander missile systems. During the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh in the fall of 2020, “they did not work or they only worked at 10%.” When asked about these statements, the dismissed general laughed for a while, “I’m sorry, this is not serious, you cannot say those things. It is not serious to conclude with superficial evaluations.”
These missile systems are manufactured and delivered by Russia, which has for years been the main external guarantor of the territorial integrity of Armenia, which is sandwiched between two ‘enemy’ countries: Turkey and Azerbaijan. On November 10, a ceasefire agreement negotiated by Moscow halted the forty-four-day war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, confirming Azerbaijan’s military victory. The general, according to Armenian media, repeatedly urged care to comment on these weapons, as they lead to further aggravation of relations with the main military ally, which remains Russia.
MANIFESTO AGAINST THE PRIME MINISTER
The Chief of the General Staff, Onik Gasparian, and the commanders of all the corps sign the declaration demanding the resignation of the prime minister. “For a long time, the Armed Forces of the Republic patiently tolerated the ‘attacks’ that the current government, which aimed to discredit the Armed Forces, but everything has its limits. The Armed Forces have honored their duty to fight with their people against the enemy. Pashinian dismissed General Colonel Gasparian after the military entity demanded the resignation of the president.
Last year the Armenians were forced to give up the land they had won in the conflict from 1991 to 1994. Azerbaijan regained seven districts around Nagorno-Karabakh that it had lost in the first war, providing the opportunity for at least half a million Azerbaijanis to return home after being displaced for more than 25 years. Russia has deployed a peacekeeping mission (1,960 soldiers) both in Karabakh and in the Lachin corridor between Karabakh and Armenia. They will remain there for five years, with the possibility of renewal. Armenians seem traumatized by their sudden change in fortunes, and many voices, especially those opposed to the prime minister, insist that the November agreement has no legal status and may be rejected,” writes Thomas de Waal, a member of the Center. Carnegie, specializing in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus region.