TASS, February 27. Armenia’s Defense Ministry urged on Saturday not to involve the national armed forces into political processes.
"We demand to refrain from making statements on behalf of the armed forces. [We demand] that the army should not be involved in political processes and that the country’s security should not be subordinate to [personal] interests," reads the communique posted on the Defense Ministry’s site.
The Defense Ministry also added that the Armenian Armed Forces do their utmost to ensure the country’s security, irrespective of political processes.
On February 25, mass rallies of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s supporters and critics began in Armenia after the General Staff of the Armed Forces had called for the resignation of prime minister and his cabinet. The statement was signed by Chief of the General Staff Onik Gasparyan, his deputies and other military top brass. Pashinyan slammed the move as a military coup attempt and announced his decision to dismiss the General Staff chief.
Earlier on Saturday, President Armen Sarkissian sent back to the prime minister his order to dismiss Gasparyan, pointing out that the decree, according to lawyers, was unconstitutional. The president added that he was not supporting either of the political forces and that the current crisis cannot be solved with frequent reshuffles. After Pashinyan re-submitted his proposal, the president has three days to either sign the decree or to appeal it at Armenia’s Constitutional Court.