President completes Cabinet with Defence and Foreign Ministers


President Serzh Sargsyan has completed his Cabinet by appointing Vigen Sarkissian as Minister of Defence. The president also reappointed Edward Nalbandian as his Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The full press release of the appointment of the Defence Minister as published on the presidential website is as follows:

“President introduced the newly appointed Minister of Defense and the Chief of Staff of the RA Armed Forces


The President of Armenia, Commander-in-Chief Serzh Sargsyan today visited the Ministry of Defense and introduced to the highest officer corps the newly appointed Minister of Defense Vigen Sarkissian and the newly appointed Chief of Staff of the RA Armed Forces Movses Hakopian. President Sargsyan spoke also about the circumstances taken into consideration before making this decision. In that context, Serzh Sargsyan spoke in detail about the role ascribed by the new Constitution to the Minister of Defense, to the Ministry of Defense and the leadership of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the state governance of our country.

“The Constitution stipulates clearly that the number one military serviceman or senior serviceman should be the Chief of Staff. With time the military and political diplomacy will be acquiring greater importance, with time a comprehensive supplies for the Armed Forces will become more important, also the procurement as within the country as well as abroad. We have to deal directly with the military and patriotic education. We have to invigorate works aimed at the improvement of the social conditions of the military personnel also keeping in mind that we always are responsible for the people who ever served in our armed forces. Many of them are not with us today or have become handicapped persons. I’ve just mentioned a few of the existing issues but the Minister of Defense will allocate the lion’s share of his time to the resolution of these and similar problems. The Minister of Defense will deal very little with the daily activities of the armed forces.

I am confident that Vigen Sarkissian is well aware of the volume of his responsibility, and I have no doubt that he will spare no effort and justify trust and will fulfill that responsibility with honor. I would certainly like to thank Seiran Ohanian for his long and diligent work as Minister of Defense,” said President Sargsyan and assured that his participation and interest towards the Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces in general will not subside. The President of Armenia underscored that along with the rising capabilities of our country, capabilities of the Ministry of Defense will rise too. The President expressed confidence that in the nearest future Seiran Ohanian will again serve the country and will bring his important and useful contribution to the strengthening of the defensibility of our country. According to the President, defensibility doesn’t lie with the Ministry of Defense alone. Serzh Sargsyan expressed confidence that the newly appointed Chief of Staff Movses Hakopian also will carry out his duties with the great sense of responsibility and wished him success.

The former Minister of Defense Seiran Ohanian congratulated Vigen Sarkissian and the Chief of Staff Movses Hakopian, as well as the Secretary of the National Security Council Yuri Khatchaturov on their appointments, wished success and expressed hope that each of them will fully utilize their potential for the continuous empowerment of the Armenian Armed Forces. Seiran Ohanian spoke about the works carried out in the Ministry during his tenure, including reforms as well as about forthcoming programs and priorities. The former Minister of Defense also thanked the participants of the meeting and the entire staff of the Ministry for the joint work.

After the introduction, according to the procedure established at the MoD there took place the official ceremony of transition of the position. The former Minister of Defense and former Chief of Staff handed to the new Minister and the new Chief of Staff emblems and insignia. The new Minister of Defense Vigen Sarkissian thanked the President for trust and underscored that for him, as a member of the President’s political team, it is a great honor and responsibility to assume the position of the Minister of Defense. He assured that he would do his best to justify that trust.

The new Chief of Staff Movses Hakopian also expressed gratitude for the great trust and underlined that together with the entire staff of he would do his best to bring his input to the empowerment of the Armenian Armed Forces and raising the level of defensibility of our country.”

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