Davit Tonoyan, Armenia’s first deputy defense minister who has coordinated growing military cooperation with NATO, was appointed as minister for emergency situations on Monday.
Tonoyan, 49, replaced Armen Yeritsian, who died on December 13 at the age of 55.
Yeritsian had run the Armenian Ministry for Emergency Situations since 2010. He had previously held senior positions in the Armenian police.
A retired army officer, Tonoyan became in 1998 the Armenian military’s first liaison officer at NATO military headquarters near Brussels. He served as Armenia’s permanent military representative to the U.S.-led alliance from 2004-2007 before being promoted to senior positions in the Defense Ministry in Yerevan.
Tonoyan has been first deputy defense minister since 2010. Like his late predecessor, he is not affiliated with any political party.
Prime Minister Karen Karapetian introduced Tonoyan to senior Ministry for Emergency Situations staff on Monday, describing the new minister as a “decent” man and effective manager. “We are confident that Mr. Tonoyan will successfully accomplish all tasks set for him with the help of [ministry] personnel,” Karapetian said.
The ministry divisions include Armenia’s rescue and seismic protection services as well as the national fire department.