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Draft Of Reservists ‘Not Specifically Related To Threat Of War’


Hrachya Hakobian, a member of parliament from the ruling Civil Contract party, is interviewed by Harry Tamrazian, RFE/RL's Armenian Service, Prague/Yerevan, 22Aug,2021

The draft of about 2,000 Armenian army reservists for three-month trainings beginning on August 25 is not specifically related to a threat of war, according to a senior pro-government lawmaker.

Hrachya Hakobian, a member of the Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian-led Civil Contract party, said in an interview with RFE/RL’s Armenian Service (Azatutyun) on Sunday that the measure should be viewed only in terms of the modernization of the country’s mobilization resources.

“We saw that during the 44-day war [in Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020] we had big problems with the mobilization of reservists who had a low level of preparedness for fighting. And now these measures are being taken to bring this resource to the level at which, God forbid, if we find ourselves in a state of war again, reservists will be able to handle the weapons well and be prepared for war situations. So, these are measures that are directly related to the actions of the mobilization resource,” Hakobian said.

Amid lingering tensions along the Armenian-Azerbaijani borders some experts do not rule out more outbreaks of fighting in the volatile region where nearly 7,000 people were killed in last fall’s hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh.

“We do have tensions at the borders, but these measures [draft of reservists] are not specifically related to a threat of war, these measures are taken for our mobilization resources to be prepared in the long term,” the Armenian lawmaker insisted.

Hakobian acknowledged that such trainings of reservists may require additional funding, but said that they are absolutely necessary. “Of course, it is not an easy task. Yes, funds will be required. And we must provide these funds, because the matter concerns our mobilization resources. We need to have appropriate mobilization resources,” he said.

“If these actions and measures had been taken before, perhaps we would have had a completely different mobilization resource during the 44-day war and, why not, perhaps a completely different outcome of that war,” the pro-government lawmaker added.

The Armenian Defense Ministry said last week that reservists participating in training assemblies will enjoy all benefits of military personnel and will keep their civilian jobs by law, while being paid for each month of training. It said that in the course of the planned training drafted reservists may also be involved in combat duty, if necessary.

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