YEREVAN — Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian received members of the families of those servicemen killed in the April Four-Day War and listened to their concerns.
“It is a great honor for me to meet with you. On behalf of the Republic of Armenia and the Armenian people, I wish to thank you for your children’s heroism and self-sacrifice. I believe that their behavior and courage were first of all was brought up in the family. Frankly speaking, I was planning to meet you earlier, but I likewise wanted to postpone the meeting pending a decision that might come as a relief for you. Such a decision was made two weeks ago,” Nikol Pashinian said, adding that it refers to the expansion of the scope of Soldiers’ Insurance Fund beneficiaries, under which assistance will also be provided to the families of those servicemen disabled and deceased in the events following January, 2015.
“This means that either the families of April War victims and people with disabilities will get continuous State support. We hope that it will somehow ease your concerns. Of course, your grief cannot be helped. This is not a matter of finance; it is an extremely important moral issue for the public and the State to show that they are caring for the families of Homeland’s defenders,” the Prime Minister said.
Answering a question on the disclosure of April War-related crimes, Nikol Pashinian noted: “Many questions are being raised about the disclosure of April War-related crimes. We already have such exposures, including the well-known episode which had exactly to do with the April war, namely how come that the aid, including equipment, did not reach the troops.
I think we all know that there will be no obstacle to investigating those cases. However, these probes should not shade in any way our armed forces and the army, because we all know very well that we boast a great number of conscientious, self-denying officers and soldiers, and I am convinced that our troops, the body of commissioned and non-commissioned officers and the rank-and-file understand the meaning, purpose, and mission of their own service, and that very few people are guided by the opposite logic. In general, I think that those investigations seek to raise the authority of the Armenian statehood, and not the contrary.
Of course, negative information may lead to some dissatisfaction, but I think we should look at it as a recovery process that we must inevitably do. Once again, I bow my head before the memory of all those soldiers, volunteers, freedom fighters who were killed while protecting your families, your children, and our homeland.
I hope that the support fund will grow increasingly, and the program will affect the cases dated earlier so that we can state that we are supporting the disabled servicemen and the families of killed soldiers.”
The Premier underscored that if we are to live in peace, everyone should go and serve in the army. Moreover, no one should take bribes and exempt people from army service illegally. “Those who are taking such bribes have no right to bear the title of officer of the Armed Forces of Armenia. Exempting someone from the army service is strictly punishable,” Nikol Pashinian emphasized.
The parents of killed servicemen thanked the Premier for giving them audience. They expressed confidence that the velvet revolution and the ongoing transformations will help expose a number of crimes, including the ones committed during the Four-Day War.