“The world has not been in such an extremely tense state since the Second World War;” RA President to the Prime Minister
14:48 | 2023-03-18
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met with the President of the Republic, Vahagn Khachaturyan. In his welcoming speech, the President of the Republic stated: "First of all, thank you for the meeting. I think many questions need to be discussed separately. What did I want to start the conversation with? I look at what is happening worldwide; you are also watching. There are different assessments, but there is one general assessment by all: the world has not been in such an agitated state since the Second World War, and whether we like it or not, these problems will affect us too. In connection with that, I also appreciate the government's work that you are doing personally and that our diplomats are doing. I understand how difficult it is today to face all our challenges. And these difficulties are mainly related to our security. You gave that opportunity to our society through journalists during your press conference and your Government speech. I want to talk about one crucial situation. What you present to the open society, the society is not ready for it. What is the reason for this approach, form, and interpretation of perception? We are still in the old stereotype of the Soviet Union: how can a government or an authority be open to the public? At that time, everything was closed; at best, we formed our opinions based on assumptions or tried to understand what had happened in the country. Now this style, which is a result of democracy, allows everyone to become a participant in the events taking place in the state. However, it is difficult to digest because when you start thinking in that direction, you also fall under a particular responsibility. The biggest problem of democracy in the world today is responsibility. Many even give up some of their rights and tell the state again: take care of yourself. In other words, the state gave him the opportunity, and he said: no, you do it, we can't. This is not unique to Armenia, but this style and way of informing the public are correct. I hope this continues and we address some of the issues facing our country, for better or worse. Regarding the 2021-2026 plans of the same Government, what has been done should be made public more. For example, when I look at the junction being built in the south of Meghri, Agarak, it is imposing what will be done there and what kind of transport junction it will be. There is a need for this because, in many cases, we think that the important thing is to do, but we also need to present it all to people." In his speech, Prime Minister Pashinyan said. "Thank you, Mr. President, for the invitation and assessment. Your topic is critical because our government and I need to continue communicating with the public. At some point, I noted that there are many processes whose purpose is to prevent that communication. In other words, to make the Government close in its shell, in this case in the cabinets, and not communicate with the public, there was a moment when I also wondered how much we should communicate with the public. Because our perception of governments is that we should give the public only good news or only look at things from a good perspective. That problem, that dilemma, by the way, I want to say that also haunted me for a long time, including me, until the war of 2020 because of the reality that we had as of 2018 in the context of the Nagorno Karabakh problem, that content that had did not have any general communication with public perceptions, with the perceptions we had regarding the negotiation process and scope of the Karabakh issue. It's a strategic decision that we have to communicate with the public. Regardless, communication with the people is the most important because it has strategic importance, including from a security point of view. Regarding implementing the Government's plan, I would like to emphasize that according to the Constitution, we submitted the report on the program's performance to the National Assembly by March 1 on how the project is being implemented. We got an essential document, but also not everything we managed to include in the sense that we tried to make the copy concise. I can earn two critical points from that document; we will discuss it in detail in the National Assembly. The first listing, the mention that is very important to me, is related to the health sector. Compared to 2017, according to the results of 2022, we have more than doubled the volume of state-ordered health services; that is, we have had a 125 percent increase compared to 2017. In 2017, how many cases was the citizen of the Republic of Armenia served with a state order? In 2022, this number increased by 125 percent; it raised more than twice. It is the question of the health of our citizens in various cases and occasions. May God give health to everyone, but of course, the government should also help God to resolve health issues. The following statistic, which is again very important to me, is: In 2022, Armenian airlines carried more than 900,000 passengers. This is very important because it was also our political commitment that we should have Armenian airlines, and about 25 percent of the market is Armenian airlines. This is also very important in the sense of repatriation because, in 2022, about 200 jobs will be created in the field of aviation. Many high-class pilots, born and raised in Armenia, who did not have a career in Armenia and only came for vacations, are now working in Armenia and can also vacation to be held in Armenia. There is more data. Thank you for following the activities of the Government, and if you follow, I assume you will also follow the discussions of the National Assembly." Responding, Vahagn Khachaturyan said: "Definitely. I'll say one number. As a professional, I have always considered it the biggest achievement from my point of view. It is about the problem of unemployment. It has always been 25-30 percent for us for years. Here it is official statistics and research. According to the "Employment" law, official statistics were up to 10 percent, and real unemployment was 25-30 percent. And of all our international comparisons, it was the most negative. Now it has become 11.5 percent. This is the most significant achievement in my professional evaluations. Ultimately, there are two critical factors in US Federal Reserve policy: inflation and unemployment. We only have inflation because, in many cases, it can be kept at the expense of unemployment, but both factors are critical. In other words, economic policy means to provide jobs or have less unemployment and less inflation. I consider this circumstance very important in the activities of the government, and, of course, I retook the report; I will watch it until the end. Still, I also appreciate the work being done. I want to mention one more circumstance. I want to let you know about your participation in reports. It is an essential factor in increasing the responsibility of our departments when the Prime Minister is present in each department with a representative team. It is appreciable because before, there was an acceptable option when the prime minister did not go, the deputy prime minister went, or one minister went and presented himself; that is, it was formal. This is also an excellent way to increase management effectiveness, and we only have to solve our most important problems, which you keep talking about. I am also dedicated to implementing that idea, which has two essential components: establishing complete peace in the region and turning our area into a center of international cooperation and democracy. We do not back down from the principles we have chosen. The government is implementing it." In conclusion, Nikol Pashinyan noted: "Yes, obviously, security, ensuring external security and peace is an absolute priority, and that's also why our work together, in fact, a large part of our agenda is dedicated to that. But it's also important to me that, despite all that, not only have we not failed the reform agenda, but, on the contrary, the key point of the Government's report itself is that our response to all of this should be asymmetric in some sense. I mean that we should not deviate for a second from the development agenda, the reform agenda, of course, continuing to focus more and more on the security agenda."