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“This is one of the backbone and fundamental bills”
13.10.17 11:43
“This is one of the backbone and fundamental bills”

On the initiative of the Standing Committee on Defense and Security, NA, RA, in the parliamentary session hall parliamentary hearings were held on the “New Regulations in the Legislation on Conscription and Military Service”, which were attended by Members of the National Assembly, representatives from the Government, political forces, interested agencies and institutions, as well as of academic, expert and educational circles.

New legislative provisions concerning the military service anticipate essential changes in the field of army recruitment, and military service, including the organization of combat duty. According to the RA Defense Minister Vigen Sargsyan, these legislative regulations pursue three main goals: legal support for the implementation of constitutional reforms, their codification and consolidation, and creation of a legal framework for the programs “I Am” and “I Have the Honour”. The policy underlying this legislative regulation is to make the military service in the Armed Forces a social elevator both for the commissioned officers and the juniors enlisted, to ensure the servicemen’s integration into the society, to increase the efficiency of the reserve, to replace the majority of the determents with privileges, and to reinforce the public confidence in the Armed Forces.

“Iravunk” had a talk with Lieutenant General Hayk Kotanjian, Head, National Defense Research University, MOD, RA, Doctor of Political Science, Professor, on all the above-said, as well as on the criticism voiced during the parliamentary hearings. He did qualify this as a genuinely multi-stage, multi-layer and “smart power” manifestation work.


“WE STILL GOT A LOT TO BURN, A LOT TO CRYSTALLIZE”


“From the perspective of ensuring the guarantees for the security of our state goals, main directions of activity and protection, this is one of the backbone and fundamental bills. Of course, we still have got a lot of bricks to burn, a lot of things to crystallize, and it was unveiled during the discussion by the Defense Minister Vigen Sargsyan, too. But at the core there is a fertile soil, and it is indeed an aftermath of a clever, balanced and coordinated work.”


“Mr. Lieutenant General, according to the opponents of the bill, this legislative regulation is due to
demographic issues… What can you say about this?”


“From the legal point of view, this is a well-development elaboration, which reflects, I believe, first and foremost, the constitutional norms, which are directed towards the complete portrayal of features of the Republic of Armenia as a social and parliamentary state. Meanwhile, the demographic specters, without which it becomes impossible to draft a suchlike document, are also reflected. Simply, the most important thing is that it has been developed from equitable and balanced standpoints.


“THE ROLE OF THE APOSTOLIC CHURCH IS INVALUABLE”


“By the way, in the course of the discussions, some human rights defenders tried to put equality signs between the Armenian Apostolic Church and Jehova’s Witnesses, and complained from the spiritual ministers’ presence in the army. As an experienced military man of years long practice, how do you relate to this?”


To my mind, our Minister, Mr. Vigen Sargsyan, gave a complete answer to this, i.e., from the point of provision of freedoms, principles and norms of democracy, the attitude is the same and equal, but in relation to the role-playing, of course, the mission of our Apostolic Church is invaluable from the point of formation and development of our state, including its defense and security.


“Another concern raised was that after the adoption of this legislative regulation, we will no longer have young scientists, as young people will have the opportunity of working in the field of science only after the age of 30 having completed the military service. In your opinion, is this a problem or not?”

“I don’t see any problem. It is about the quality of academic and educational processes. And I think it is important how the military service and the academic activity, embracing both educational and academic components, are going to be combined. So, as Radik Martirosyan, President of the NAS, RA, put it, this is a matter of the correct elaboration and implementation of mechanisms.


HRANT SARAFYAN

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