Generals and officers,
I am glad for the opportunity to meet and greet all of you.
I value very much each meeting with the Defense Army's staff. And my participation in the sessions of the Defense Army's Military Council convoked to sum-up the annual activities is conditioned by the fact that the issues the army faces and the processes, which are targeted at strengthening our country's defensive capacity and safeguarding the security of our people are always at the authorities' spotlight.
The army building is one of the key priorities of our state policy. In 2012 quite extensive and targeted work was carried out in the sphere of army building, including the army's military and moral-psychological training, increasing the efficiency of the management system, enhancing military capabilities, improving mobilization readiness and in many other directions. Special attention was paid to strengthen the borderline, engineering constructions and other defensive systems. All of these allowed the servicemen conducting military duties to rebuff the enemy's attacks in the most productive way. It should be said that such attempts by the Azerbaijani armed forces were occurring quite frequently.
As you know, from 1 January to 20 December of the current year the enemy vanguards violated the ceasefire regime more than 13,000 times, which exceeds the same data of the previous year by 2000 cases. Azerbaijan used sniper group on an extensive basis too. In addition to the above-mentioned, the enemy undertook seven attempts to destabilize situation in the borderline by using diversion-intelligence groups, which encountering resistance from our positions were forced to retreat.
In the passing year Azerbaijan's policy and behavior became even more aggressive and destructive. Baku continues to make militaristic, anti-Armenian statements, increase military spending, and violate the ceasefire regime. Azerbaijan also released the criminal murderer having insidiously killed with an axe the Armenian officer and made him a national hero. This policy is nothing more than terrorism that poses a threat to the civilized mankind.
In the meantime Baku rejects any proposal aimed at the implementation of complex mutual trust measures along the borders. For example, it rejects our proposals to withdraw snipers from the borderline, which we introduced to the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs about five years ago. During the recent visit of the mediators to the region official Stepanakert presented another proposal to avoid shooting on a number of religious and international holidays. The proposal was rated positive by the mediators, however, Baku did not respond to that as usual.
We cannot ignore all these, especially in the process of army building. We will not imitate Azerbaijan's steps. Any kind of discrimination, including national, aggressive and inhumane behavior is alien to the Armenian civilization. We have declared many times that we are the proponents of peaceful settlement to the Azerbaijani-Karabagh conflict. However, this does not mean that we are not ready to give a worthy response to the enemy's encroachments. I have ordered the defense minister and the army command staff to give a strong counterattack to any aggression.
This means that the state policy directed to further strengthen the army as always will continue to be of a systematic nature. In the army building we are always guided by the principle of turning the quantitative into qualitative.
Taking into the consideration the development of modern military art and the need to make the republic's defense system corresponding to the requirements of that progress, in recent years the Defense Army's ranks were supplemented by more than 1000 officers who graduated from national and foreign higher military educational institutions.
The achievements registered in the field of personnel training have had a positive impact on the staff, command and tactical training. The most vivid example of that are the strategic military exercises of combat shooting held with the military attack groups in October of this year, during which the involved units demonstrated necessary for combats high operational and tactical skills.
In parallel with the solution of tactical problems complex activities were also realized in the field of rearmament. Unlike our potential opponent, which for years is guided by the principle "the more, the better", we preferred to reinforce the army with weapons whose technical characteristics of application correspond to the peculiarities of the region's geographical position and strategic features. During the current year the Defense Army's armaments were replenished with armored, automobile equipment, artillery assets of different calibers, grenades, weapons, large caliber sniper guns, monitoring devices, reactive controlled jets and other modern types of ammunition. The conspicuous best evidence of the rearmament and modernization is the unprecedented volume of forces and resources displayed during the military parade in Stepanakert held in May of the current year.
I also evaluate as positive the conducted structural changes, which undoubtedly increased the effectiveness of the armed forces' military capabilities and management. I would like to mention especially the establishment of reorganized brigades on the basis of the 8th separate motorized and separate tank regiments. The forces and resources on the disposal of these new units will make it possible if necessary to implement the mission of brunt feast entrusted upon them.
The army is more than strong when there are skilled soldiers of brilliant performance and high morale in its ranks. Within this context I should touch upon one of the most painful issues for the army life - the death cases of servicemen. In spite of the fact that such the number of such cases decrease in comparison with the previous year, it should be noted that we are not satisfied with the present situation. I have already mentioned and repeat once more that even in relatively peaceful conditions we do not have the right to lose soldiers. We must do everything possible to exclude such cases. It refers especially to the 6 cases of suicide and one case of intentional killing. We should be well aware that any loss, especially if it is the result of dereliction by the responsible personnel, is inexcusable and has a negative impact upon the army's fighting spirit, its reputation army-society ties.
I suppose the task is clear for all of you, and you will undertake decisive steps to fight these negative phenomena.
Generals and officers,
One of the most important preconditions for increasing the efficiency of the army's combat readiness is the proper and purposeful implementation of necessary work directed towards logistics, which continues to be at the spotlight of the state. As a result, in all military units we have barracks, canteens, communal and medical facilities complying with modern standards. Serious work was also carried out in the frontline to improve the field conditions of the staff.
Parallel with this special attention was paid to the improvement of social conditions of servicemen and their families. Only in recent years approximately 600 comfortable flats were built and allocated to army servicemen. In 2012 socially vulnerable families, as well as families of military servicemen perished (died) or disabled during military service were provided assistance in the volume of 88 million drams.
Special focus is also shifted towards the problems of perished, missing in action and disabled freedom-fighters of the Artsakh war. Targeted work has been carried out to solve their social problems, including those of related to living conditions, health and education.
Both in the army building and in the overall development of the country the Union of Artsakh War Veterans plays a substantial role and has a significant contribution. The Nagorno Karabagh Republic rate high the active participation of veterans in the country's defense and development and will continue supporting the activities of the Union.
2012 is coming to an end. Overall, it was favorable from the socio-economic development perspective. Sustainable growth was recorded in almost all sectors of economy. We expect to sum-up the year with more than 10% of economic growth.
In 2012 regular presidential elections were held in our republic, which once again proved the dedication of our people to democratic principles and universal values. We will continue to follow our route, build our state in compliance with international standards and norms and do everything possible for the strengthening of our homeland and the army.
I want to congratulate the entire staff of the Defense Army for ending the year with satisfactory results and for the efficient realization of the set tasks.
I congratulate all of you from a private to a general on the coming New Year. I wish each of you robust health, happiness and success in carrying out your patriotic mission aimed at safeguarding the security of our country and people, and I wish our Motherland peace and prosperity.
December 25, 2012.