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Armenian National Security Chief Fired


Artur Vanetsian speaks to journalists in Yerevan on August 27.
Artur Vanetsian speaks to journalists in Yerevan on August 27.

YEREVAN -- Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian has dismissed the director of the National Security Service.

Pashinian told a news conference on September 16 he had signed a motion for Artur Vanetsian’s removal from office, adding that the decision was based on "bilateral consent."

President Armen Sarkisian later in the day signed a decree relieving Vanetsian from his post.

In a statement, Vanetsian claimed he had resigned and criticized Pashinian's working methods.

When asked during his press conference whether he was dissatisfied with Vanetsian's work, Pashinian answered, "The work of the head of the National Security Service is not something that can be discussed publicly."

Pashinian also said he expected Vanetsian, who remains head of the Armenian soccer federation, to "focus on the task of helping Armenia's national soccer team to qualify for the European Championship finals."

Vanetsian, a career security officer, was appointed National Security Service director in May 2018, shortly after Pashinian came to power following peaceful protests that he spearheaded.

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