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Deputy MoD Abstains from Clarifying on Purchase of Faulty 40-mln-Worth Arms  

On May 31, MP from “My Step” Hrachya Hakobyan made a Facebook-streamed video address during which he spoke of arms purchases during Serj Sargsyan’s governance. He specified that back in the days Serj Sargsyan’s government disbursed 15 billion AMD to one of his close persons to procure arms for Armenia. This person, deposited money in some turnover, the arms were only procured after the revolution. Hrachya Hakobyan, who happens to be Prime Minister’s wife Anna Hakobyan’s brother, also spoke about the 40 mln AMD-worth arms, the purchase of which became subject of a criminal investigation at the National Security Service of Armenia, as it was discovered that the arms were completely faulty. 

Deputy Defense Minister Gabriel Balayan was asked questions about the controversial arms purchase at a briefing at the National Assembly. “Purchase of arms and military equipment is conducted according to the Armed Forces military plan. This is a comprehensively planned process. I cannot state with confidence that the process is flawless. It is possible that some of the purchased supplies need to be refurbished or changed. I think this is ok. The issue is whether it was lawful. Everything was done in a lawful manner, if there were criminal offenses, I believe the investigation will find them,” said.

To the question whether or not the purchases were made in violation of laws, whether or not the state’s interests were damaged, Balasanyan refrained from answering. “The investigative bodies are the ones to answer this question. There are many criminal cases with suspicions being investigated. Before an indictment is declared, I will refrain from any comments,” said Balasanyan. He also emphasized that Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan, who was the first deputy of Defense Minister when the controversial arms deals took place, did not participate in any unlawful action.