During the election campaign rally with the residents of Achajur village of Tavush Province, acting Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan decided to tell about what happened between him and the former chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, Onik Gasparyan. It should be noted that Gasparyan was born in Achajur.
"There is an element of family history here, and I have to report to you what happened and why it happened. First of all, you know that I became the Prime Minister, Onik was the First Deputy Chief of the General Staff—with the rank of Major General. Then, through my mediation, he was awarded the rank of Lieutenant General, during the [Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh)] war [last fall], on my initiative, he was awarded the rank of Colonel General.
When I petitioned that Onik be appointed Chief of the General Staff, I told him something: I said, “Onik, I am afraid of something in this story.” I said, “I think you have very strong ties with the former authorities.” He said, “There was no problem there, do not worry,” and I made the appointment.
I want you to know that I trusted Onik like a dear brother; I never questioned what he said. Even when he was appointed, during the July war, the NSS [National Security Service] told me about an episode in which he had misreported. I said I do not believe, it is excluded. We talked with each other, he said he would never misreport, I said, “I believe you and I will believe in you.” This was the case until the end of the war.
There were episodes during the war that they came from Artsakh, said that this episode is like this, I called, asked Onik. We came to the conclusion that I should only listen to what he says about the episodes of the war; I agreed with that.
This conversation has been opened for two reasons: One, because of the events of November 20. That day Onik goes to Syunik Province, meets with some circles, for some reason has a telephone conversation with [ex-President] Serzh Sargsyan on the way. At that time they say the worst words about me, then they agree that they should meet.
That evening Onik says, “I want to come to you,” I say, “Come.” We meet at the [Yerevan] Kond's [government] house. He says, “Make a decision, resign.” I say, “Dear Onik, how many days have you not slept?” He says 4-5 days. I ask him to go to bed, relax, forget about the conversation.
Then I call and say, “Onik, I have trusted you unconditionally and I still want to trust you unconditionally, taking into account many circumstances.”
I said, “I promise, I will forget the story that you came, told me I should resign.”
After that, I feel that there is a political influence on the General Staff. After that, episodes emerge from which I become convinced that, truly, many things were not reported to me correctly. As a result, problems arise.
Finally, a conversation opens that the General Staff may demand my resignation. I tell him, “Dear Onik, such things will not pass with me. I say again: I'm ready to forget, get out of that logic!” In the end, it becomes obvious to me that the General Staff is gradually joining the ranks of the opposition. To relieve both him and First Deputy [Chief of the General Staff] Tiran Khachatryan after a well-known event," said Nikol Pashinyan.
The Acting Prime Minister spoke also about Tiran Khachatryan, noting: "When Onik Gasparyan told me that Tiran Khachatryan should be given the title of national hero because he is taking measures there to organize counterattacks, I did not even discuss [it]. I said, “If I have to do it today so we may have success on the battlefield, I will do as you say.”
Today Tiran Khachatryan stands up and says the worst words to me. If Tiran Khachatryan finds that I am that person, let him give up the title of hero given to him.
If he is a decent officer and thinks that the person who gave him the title of a hero does not understand anything, he should give up that title of hero," he said.
"The next episode: Recently, rumors are being spread that while signing the letter on November 9, I was pushed to sign the clause on the villages of Tavush, and it was Onik who urged, cautioned me not to sign it with that version.
The reality was completely the opposite. In the presence of 10 people, Onik said that [it] should be signed. I did not blame [him] then, too, I thought he was a man who took part in the war, he thought so. He may have taken that position at the time. I accuse him of spreading opposite news now. Why?
If anyone had the right to say that I should sign like that, it was him, as he took part in the war here in those years and lost his leg. If that was his assessment, I did not say, “Why are you saying such a thing?” I just said that it is out of the question, I will not sign it like that, and we did it so that that point would come out.
I now have another question: why is he spreading the opposite news? The analysis of that fact leads me to completely different conclusions, whether it is possible that he did not say ‘sign’ because of some concerns, but thought that the worse that paper is, the greater the likelihood that it is that it will cause a political explosion and drive away our government and me. I did not think of such a thing then; now I think so retrospectively," Pashinyan said.
"There is such an episode about [Artsakh’s] Shushi [town], too. When he told me it was a convoy of 150 cars, we said, “Hit [them]!” Do you know what they said to us? They said that some cars are presented as 150-200 cars," he said.
"This is family talk that should be here. I did not do anything dishonest in those relations. I say this for you; I know that that question is within you. I say today that I have kept all the moral norms, you should know that," the acting prime minister added.