Ruben Vardanyan sacked as Nagorno-Karabakh State Minister

The President of the self-declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) Arayik Harutyunyan has sacked Ruben Vardanyan as State Minister after chairing a meeting of the Council of Ministers on Thursday (23 February).

The formal announcement comes after weeks of speculation over the future of the Russian-Armenian businessman's position as State Minister of the unrecognised republic.

He was officially appointed as State Minister of the self-declared NKR on 4 November 2022, and since his appointment he had shared power with the de facto President, Arayik Harutyunyan, who has kept control over the security system of the territory.

In a press release on the website of the office of Arayik Harutyunyan, a statement announcing his dismissal read: 

"Ruben Vardanyan and I have been together during this whole time, following the events and developments happening both in Artsakh and in the outer world on a daily basis, we have constantly exchanged ideas about finding solutions to the current situation. I am grateful to Mr. Vardanyan for his eagerness to always share the responsibility with me to the maximum extent in both friendly and partnership relations and did not try to put it on me referring to the constitutional norms. But on the other hand, he approached with awareness and understanding to the scope and extent of my personal responsibility for the situation created in Artsakh and all future problems."

Harutyunyan noted also announced that he proposed Prosecutor General Gurgen Nersisyan as the new State Minister.

There had been reports of tensions between Harutyunyan and Vardanyan

In its bi-weekly newsletter Karabakh Concise on 16 February 2023, the editorial team wrote that, "Vardanyan hoped to change the dynamic within the territory with a fresh start and a fresh team. However, Karabakh is a small territory with a small population."

"Not only was the choice of people from which this 'new' team could emerge limited, but also people who were unceremoniously fired by Vardanyan had networks across the community. All of a sudden Vardanyan realised he had made more enemies than he had reckoned with," the editorial team added.

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source: with agencies
photo: Armenpress