Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan has appointed a new defense minister - fourth during his four-year ruling as Armenia's Prime Minister.
Suren Papikyan has been appointed the new Defense Minister, with his predecessor being Arshak Karapetyan.
"Arshak Karapetyan was remembered for his provocative actions, his illegal trips to the Azerbaijani lands liberated from the Armenian occupation and provocations against Azerbaijani servicemen in Lachin district and the recent aggravation of the situation,” Azerbaijani MP, political analyst Rasim Musabayov told Trend.
He said that the frequent appointment in the Armenian Ministry of Defense and the Foreign Ministry shows that Pashinyan’s regime cannot properly regulate power.
“Karapetyan committed many provocative actions, all this was a problem for Pashinyan,” Musabayov added. “I think that Russia did not like such behavior of Karapetyan.”
The Azerbaijani MP said that all these factors forced Pashinyan to appoint new people in the defense ministry.
“It is difficult to say how well the new minister will be able to control the situation,” Musabayov said. “This will depend on his skills, willpower, Pashinyan’s support, including an assessment of the real situation and adequate behavior.”
Military expert Adalat Valiyev told Trend that the dismissal of Karapetyan is connected with the tough position of the Azerbaijani side after his illegal visit to Karabakh region on November 6-8.
“It is known that after the victory in the second Karabakh war, two high-ranking Armenian officials, namely, ex-foreign minister Ara Ayvazyan and ex-defense minister Arshak Karapetyan visited Karabakh region,” Valiyev said.
He added that the fact that after these illegal trips, both were immediately dismissed from their posts, openly demonstrates Pashinyan’s position in connection with trips to Karabakh region.
Valiyev noted that the fact that the current minister of defense is a civilian rather than a military man shows that Pashinyan has no choice.
“New Minister of Defense Suren Papikyan was appointed Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure of Armenia three months ago,” Valiyev said. “He was a peaceful official.”
The expert said that apparently, Pashinyan has no other option but to appoint a civilian to this position because the Armenian military elite consisting of 60 people signed an appeal against Pashinyan.
“The appointment of one of the generals who signed this appeal would mean Pashinyan’s defeat in front of the military elite,” Valiyev said.
According to the Armenian media, new Armenian Minister of Defense Suren Papikyan taught history in one of Yerevan’s schools in 2010-2016. Moreover, Papikyan, known as the "asphalt tycoon", has a criminal record. A criminal case was filed against him for stabbing a commander while serving in the army.
Suren Papikyan, found guilty of a criminal act, was imprisoned for 2 years and 3 months on March 27, 2006. He was released as part of amnesty on February 23, 2007.
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