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YEREVAN. – Deputy Defense Minister Gabriel Balayan clarified the principles by which the militia to be formed in Armenia will operate, and spoke about the goals and necessity of their creation.

At a press conference on Tuesday, the deputy minister categorically refuted the widely discussed opinion that this militia presupposes the appearance of many armed people on the streets.

But in fact, as per Balayan, militia presupposes involvement of the civilian population (now up to 70 years old) in the preparation for military actions.

The deputy minister stressed, however, that the reservists cannot be involved in this militia.

The militia will receive weapons only if they are sent to combat operations, but militia does not mean mandatory participation in military actions.

To the question why the Armenian authorities decided to form militia and what has changed, the deputy minister stated that many things have changed: the processes in the region, our idea of defense, and the opportunities.

Gabriel Balayan stressed that the proposed model for militia is purely Armenian, although the respective track-record of some other countries has been studied.

According to the respective draft, the deputy community leaders and deputy provincial governors will become commanders in case of hostilities. It is envisaged that retired members of the military shall assume these positions.

According to the persons behind this idea, up to 100 thousand people can join the ranks of this militia to be formed in Armenia.

The draft will be submitted to the National Assembly by the end of the year.

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