19 Nov 2020 18:46

Armenian PM dismisses ex-military inspector's criticism of mistakes that led to defeat in Karabakh

YEREVAN. Nov 19 (Interfax) - Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan believes former Chief Military Inspector Col. Gen. Movses Hakobyan's allegations of improper preparations for the latest conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh are unsubstantiated, Mane Gevorgyan, Pashinyan's press secretary, said on Thursday.

"The Armenian prime minister considers all accusations leveled at him by Mr. Hakobyan farfetched and absurd. These accusations are currently being analyzed as possible libel, after which a decision will be made," Gevorgyan said on Facebook.

Law enforcement agencies should scrutinize Hakobyan's remarks, she said.

"Hakobyan said the Armenian prime minister did not talk with the Russian president before September 30, but such conversations took place on September 27 and September 29, which the Armenian government's and the Kremlin's press services reported. The other accusations by Mr. Hakobyan should also be verified, and law enforcement agencies should assess them," Gevorgyan said.

The Armenian Prosecutor General's Office said that it has forwarded a video recording of Hakobyan's conference to the Special Investigation Service to prepare a file under Armenian Criminal Code Articles 180 and 181 (theft of especially valuable objects and theft with the use of computer equipment).

Hakobyan, who resigned as Armenia's chief military inspector on Wednesday, said at a press conference on Thursday that the Defense Ministry's information center spread absolute lies during the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh and that the army began to collapse after Artak Davtyan was appointed chief of the Armed Forces General Staff in 2018.

Hakobyan also charged that the Armenian leadership's decision to send volunteers to fight in Nagorno-Karabakh was a crime, that mobilization had been 78% completed in Nagorno-Karabakh and 52% in Armenia, and that five Armenian regiments were made redundant in line with a secret decision.

He also accused the prime minister of making unwarranted adjustments to a weapons procurement plan.

"Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter aircraft and Osa anti-aircraft missile systems were purchased. None of these weapons fired a single shot during this war. We didn't need Su planes, and I had explained why earlier. These planes remain idle here without ammunition. A Russian government decision prohibits the sale of ammunition for these fighters to other countries," Hakobyan said.

Hakobyan said he was leaving the post of chief military inspector on Wednesday. He previously worked as head of the General Staff of the Armenian Armed Forces and defense minister of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

The Azerbaijani Armed Forces launched hostilities in the Karabakh conflict zone on September 27. Late on November 9, the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia adopted a trilateral statement on a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh, the deployment of Russian peacekeepers to the region, and the transfer of a number of districts in the region to Azerbaijan. People in Armenia have taken that statement as capitulation.