YEREVAN, 7 Mar – RIA Novosti. Over 120 military men of the defense army of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh republic have supported the chief of the general staff of the Armenian armed forces Onik Gasparyan, who is threatened with resignation, according to the local newspaper “Aravot” (“Morning”).
Another political crisis flared up in Yerevan after Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's careless words about the Russian Iskander missile systems. According to media reports, the deputy chief of the general staff of Armenia ridiculed the prime minister, for which he was dismissed, following him the chief of the general staff was proposed to resign. The Armed Forces of Armenia issued a statement in which they demanded the resignation of Pashinyan himself. The prime minister regarded this as an attempted coup and called on his supporters to take to the streets. Meanwhile, the opposition has erected barricades and set up a campground near the parliament, they are not in the mood for negotiations with the authorities and demand the resignation of the prime minister.
The newspaper notes that 124 officers of the Karabakh army signed a statement in support of Gasparyan.
“We, the undersigned servicemen, are participants in the second Artsakh (Artsakh – the self-name of Karabakh – ed.) War, while maintaining neutrality in political issues, proceeding from the current unstable situation, we ask and petition that Colonel General Onik Gasparyan continue his patriotic service to the homeland as chief General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia, “the newspaper quotes the text of the statement.
A photocopy of the list of subscribers is posted on the website of the edition.
Earlier, President Armen Sarkissian refused to sign a decree on the dismissal of the chief of the General Staff and did not send the draft decree to the Constitutional Court, which implies the automatic resignation of the military leader. As stated in the presidential press service, Sargsyan challenged in the Constitutional Court not the draft decree itself, but the provisions of the law “On military service and the status of servicemen,” regulating personnel issues in the Armed Forces.
On Wednesday, March 3, the General Staff announced that Gasparyan would remain in office for at least another eight days.