Talking to media after a government session on Thursday, Grigorian said that for the first time the issue of stopping the war was raised at the Security Council on October 19, which was the 23rd day of the hostilities.
On November 17, a week after Armenia signed a Russian-brokered ceasefire with Azerbaijan to put an end to a 44-day war in which Armenian forces suffered a defeat in Nagorno-Karabakh, Gasparian claimed that on the fourth day of the war (September 30), during a Security Council meeting, he reported about Armenian casualties and presented an assessment of the situation in the armed forces.
He said then that he noted that “it is necessary to take measures to stop the war within the next two or three days, otherwise our resources will be exhausted in a short time and that with each day we will have more unfavorable conditions for the negotiation process.”
The secretary of the Security Council today repeated his recent public comment on that, saying that it was during the October 19 Security Council meeting that the statement about “resources being exhausted” was made and the idea of “stopping the war” within the next two or three days was expressed.
“By the way, leaders of the parliamentary opposition factions also attended that Security Council meeting,” Grigorian said.
Grigorian first addressed the matter in an interview with the Civilnet news website on March 12. But his statement was then taken with skepticism by representatives of the opposition that challenged its timing that coincided with the controversial dismissal of Gasparian as chief of the Armed Forces’ General Staff.
Gasparian was relieved of his duties after he and four dozen generals and high-ranking officers on February 25 called for Pashinian’s resignation, accusing him of putting Armenia “on the brink of collapse” following last year’s war in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Grigorian said today that the authorities addressed Gasparian’s November 17 remarks “not when he demanded [Pashinian’s] resignation, but when he had been relieved of his duties.”
“There is a big difference. It is not that when he issued that statement, we said it in response. It’s been a long time before I talked about it,” the secretary of the Security Council said.
When asked about why the war was not stopped earlier, Grigorian reminded that there were at least three public efforts on that, apparently referring to three ceasefire agreements announced by Armenia and Azerbaijan after talks mediated separately by Russia, France and United States.
But Grigorian said that efforts to stop the war failed not because of the Armenian side, but because of the onslaught of Azerbaijan and active involvement of Turkey and jihadists.
“Stopping a war is not a unilateral action,” Grigorian added.
The secretary of the Security Council said that the government has no intention to put the whole blame for the defeat in the war on the army.
“We have no intention to shift the blame onto the Armed Forces. The Armed Forces should even prepare a report on the war and do it under the leadership of Onik Gasparian. If we wanted to put the blame on the Armed Forces, we would prepare that report ourselves,” Grigorian said.
Meanwhile, in another development it became known today that citing incorrect grounds, an administrative court in Yerevan had not accepted the lawsuit of the former chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Gasparian against Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and President Armen Sarkissian regarding his dismissal. Gasparian’s lawyer said the decision will be appealed at the Civil Court of Appeal.