Armenian PM Denies Contradictions In Comments About Fighter Jets Purchased From Russia.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian has come under criticism for what the opposition says are lies and contradictory statements about why the Armenian military did not deploy fighter jets purchased from Russia during last year’s war with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh.
Pashinian told parliament on March 24 that he saw no contradiction between his comments about why Armenia did not purchase missiles for its Russian Su-30SM fighter jets and his prewar statement on social media about the aircraft “successfully testing missiles.” Pashinian said at a weekend rally that Yerevan purchased Russian Su-30SM fighters in May 2020 but did not manage to purchase missiles for them before the start of the 44-day war. The prime minister’s press service and the Ministry of Defense announced in December 2019 that the Armenian Armed Forces had been “equipped with Su-30SM multifunctional fighters” and in July 2020 Pashinian wrote on Facebook that the Su-30SMs had “successfully tested missiles.” Pashinian denied any contradictions between his answer to a question related to the purchase of the fighter jets and the test of missiles asked by a pro-government lawmaker in parliament on March 24. He explained that since fighter aircraft are ultramodern and powerful, “it is obvious that manufacturers of aircraft and missiles of different modifications are not the same entities.” “In other words, they are not produced in one place, and, therefore, are not purchased in one place,” he said. “Unfortunately, during the war we did not have time to purchase all those necessary accessories...that would make it possible to use the ultramodern Su-30SMs for their intended purpose and in accordance with their power,” Pashinian said. He said training flights were carried out after the Su-30SM fighter jets arrived in Armenia in May 2020 and missiles that were already in the Armenian military’s arsenal were used for the tests. Specific military situation decisions on their use were made during the war in accordance with the extent to which the available ammunition allowed the aircraft to fulfill combat missions, he said. Pashinian did not explain the discrepancy between the December 2019 press statement from his office showing photographs of him and then-Defense Minister David Tonoian at an airfield watching demonstration flights of Su-30SM fighters and boarding the cockpit of one of the aircraft, and his statement that the Su-30SM fighter jets had arrived in Armenia in May 2020. Opposition Bright Armenia lawmaker Ani Samsonian seized on that, accusing Pashinian of lying. “When will the government stop lying, manipulating, and misleading the public?” she asked. The prime minister did not answer the opposition lawmaker’s question. His deputy, Tigran Avinian, said: “A full answer on Su-30SM aircraft was given. There is nothing to add.” Earlier this month, Pashinian effectively retracted his claim that the Armenian Army’s most advanced Russian-made Iskander missiles seriously malfunctioned during the war. The retraction came after a storm of criticism from Russian pro-government lawmakers and pundits, who accused him of incompetence and deceit.

Radio Free Europe

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia.

https://www.rferl.org/

Related news
GOP 'willing to negotiate' smaller infrastructure package: Sen.

GOP 'willing to negotiate' smaller infrastructure package: Sen.

George Stephanopoulos interviews Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi on "This Week."

'The president is willing to negotiate' on infrastructure bill: Jennifer Granholm.

'The president is willing to negotiate' on infrastructure bill: Jennifer Granholm.

George Stephanopoulos interviews Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm on "This Week."

Gov. Abbott rips Biden border policies: crisis will 'continue to get worse'

Gov. Abbott rips Biden border policies: crisis will 'continue to get worse'

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott addresses the president's management of migrant surge at the border and reopening his home state amid the coronavirus pandemic. #FoxNewsSunday Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FO...

Full Hutchinson Interview: ''Restraint' Is The Word' Republicans Need - Meet The Press - NBC News.

Full Hutchinson Interview: ''Restraint' Is The Word' Republicans Need - Meet The Press - NBC News.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.) talks to Chuck Todd about a battle over transgender rights and the GOP's culture war, during an interview with Meet the Press.» Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video: NBC News Digital is a collection of innovat...

Blinken: U.S. Has 'A Serious Commitment To Taiwan Being Able To Defend Itself' - Meet The Press

Blinken: U.S. Has 'A Serious Commitment To Taiwan Being Able To Defend Itself' - Meet The Press

Secretary of State Antony Blinken refuses to tell China that the U.S. will respond militarily to an attack on Taiwan, but commits to helping Taiwan defend itself, during an exclusive interview with Meet the Press.» Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch m...

Former Klan Member Tries To Back-Pedal After Posting White Supremacist Message - NBC News.

Former Klan Member Tries To Back-Pedal After Posting White Supremacist Message - NBC News.

In the season two premiere episode of Meet the Press Reports, Morgan Radford looks into the rise in right-wing extremism.» Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video: NBC News Digital is a collection of innovative and powerful news brands that ...

3 186