Interview with Vahan Badasyan, veteran of Artsakh war, Knight of Combat Cross Mr. Badasyan, what are your thoughts on the draft amendments to the defense legislation? The provision eliminating deferment of mandatory military service has caused a heated debate. What will these amendments bring?
I think these changes are positive. Of course, there are objective reasons for the protests relating to science but science has been done so much harm over the past few decades that it is impossible to harm science more. In fact, science is harmed when those who have nothing to do with science get deferment.
The children of lots of officials, when exempted from service, were exempted to becoming scientists. From now on, if they need to be exempted from service, this reason will no longer be available. To some extent, this will be fair, everyone will have to serve in the army. And the children of officials will be exempted for only being homosexual or short-sighted or impotent. It is not a secret that the main factor of exemption from military service is the state of health. Even if one is not sick, a young man can be listed as sick and exempted from military service. And on the contrary, young people with diseases go to serve instead of them. Is there a legislative solution to this issue?
This issue is regulated but there is abuse. For example, I have seen young people with heart diseases serve without complaining, there were even cases when they just died. Does the new legislation guarantee that such cases will not repeat?
The law can prohibit this but I don’t know whether they will bypass the law or not, this is another issue. However, it is normal that everyone must serve, this is for sure. The only good thing is that everyone must serve. And in this case avoiding service will be harder. Commenting on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, Serzh Sargsyan stated that the solution is going to be painful. The deputy minister of foreign affairs Shavarsh Kocharyan said Serzh Sargsyan means if Azerbaijan comes to its senses, and a true compromise is achieved, it will be painful for the sides. What is your opinion on this?
If return of territories is meant, this is a home-bred statement because we are not going to give away territories. So far Serzh Sargsyan hasn’t ever stated clearly that we will give away territories. He has spoken about compromise, he said we could have given territories but Azerbaijan did not keep the agreements and so on. No important official has stated that we have to give away the territories; secondary officials have stated so. In reality, there will be no concession, if so, we will pick up our guns. This is a matter of future and our children, we must live on this land in freedom. And we must not give away territories to live in peace. What is your understanding of the painful settlement referred to by Serzh Sargsyan?
I don’t know what he wants to say but I know for sure that the painful solution will be for the one who will give away territories. On these days, there are opinions that Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is a political project and is aimed at isolating Armenia. What are your thoughts on this project?
What difference does this railway make to us? Whether it exists or not is all the same to us. The question is that our neighbor and friend Georgia thus enters close relations with our enemies Azerbaijan and Turkey. Our ways are not closed, this is not an obstacle to us.