Armenia: Government plan vows army reforms, foreign intelligence service

August 19, 2021 – 13:37 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net – The Armenian government on Wednesday, August 18 unveiled its five-year program, with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan vowing reforms in the social, economic, educational and security fields.

The government pledged to do everything to ensure peace and stability in the region, raising the security and providing better economic conditions for the population.

According to Pashinyan, ensuring the security, sovereignty and territorial integrity of , the settlement of the Nagorno- conflict and negotiations within the OSCE Minsk Group, and creating a favorable environment around Armenia remain priority tasks for his government. He believes that the unblocking of transport communications will play a major role in creating a stable regional environment in the wake of the 44-day war in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Pashinyan noted that large-scale reforms are underway in the armed forces as the army is “the main factor in ensuring the country’s external security.” He also said Armenia should pursue “a proactive foreign policy” to work with all countries and international organizations, singling out the country’s strategic alliance with Russia and its membership in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

Pashinyan also revealed said that the government program envisages establishment of a foreign intelligence service within the next five years.

Weighing in on the economy, Pashinyan said the minimum monthly salary in Armenia will be raised from the current 68,000 drams ($138) to 85,000 drams ($173) as part of the 2021-2026 action plan. The average annual economic growth rate, meanwhile, is expected to reach 7%, or up to 9% “in case of favorable external conditions.” The country is further expected to decrease poverty below 10% and overcome extreme poverty altogether.

Pashinyan said that Armenia will also continue to develop its infrastructure, including roads, as well as build or renovate 300 schools and 500 kindergartens, equip all 1,400 schools across Armenia with natural science labs.

According to him, every third and subsequent child in all families will receive 50,000 drams (about $100) a month until the age of six.

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