09:42, 4 October 2023
YEREVAN, OCTOBER 4, ARMENPRESS. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s spokesperson Nazeli Baghdasaryan has commented on Kristinne Grigoryan’s appointment as Director of the new Foreign Intelligence Service (FIS).
In an interview with Armenpress, Baghdasaryan also spoke about the mission of the new intelligence agency.
Armenpress: Ms. Baghdasaryan, Prime Minister Pashinyan has signed an order on appointing Kristinne Grigoryan as the Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service. This appointment marks the inception of the Foreign Intelligence Service. What functions will the service carry out?
Baghdasaryan: The main objective of the service is to predict the foreign threats and opportunities facing our state and society and to provide political decision-makers with the relevant reliable, trustworthy and applicable intelligence data that will have applied significance in terms of managing and preventing possible threats and existing challenges. This is essentially a function carried out by any country’s foreign intelligence service. I have to mention that the service is a politically neutral body, with a mission to serve exclusively for the state interests. The FIS will also closely cooperate with other bodies and actors of Armenia vested with intelligence [gathering] functions, for strengthening the independence, sovereignty and security of the Republic of Armenia. With this purpose the FIS will also establish cooperation with international partners.
Armenpress: What is the reason that the new foreign intelligence agency is being opened in this particular period? Why now?
Baghdasaryan: The launch of the Foreign Intelligence Service is envisaged in the government action plan. The creation of the new service is an important part of the government’s ongoing strategic reforms in the security sector. The law on the Service was adopted and took effect back in December 2022, so the creation of the service is the result of a normal process. The government has been consistently preparing for the practical launch of the establishment of the service over the course of the past nine months.
Armenpress: And does the service already have a physical location, a headquarters? Where can citizens apply to for possible recruitment?
Baghdasaryan: After the appointment of the Director, the law envisages a certain period of time for institutional formation, including its location, as well as adoption of by-laws regulating operational issues of the service.
These questions will have the answers as soon as the service becomes functional and the necessary information will be provided additionally. Certainly, the complete establishment of the service will take some time.
Armenpress: The Prime Minister has appointed former Human Rights Defender Kristinne Grigoryan as the Director of the FIS. Is Grigoryan the right candidate for this position given the fact that she doesn’t have any experience in the field?
Baghdasaryan: The Director of the new service has the objective to create an intelligence service that would effectively respond to modern-day challenges, that will have a strong institutional foundation and will be able to serve the vital interests of the Republic of Armenia. We are certain that Kristinne Grigoryan’s experience in public administration is sufficient to solve the abovementioned objectives.
Armenpress: And which Western service model is chosen as the foundation of the service?
Baghdasaryan: I’d like to emphasize that neither a Western, nor Eastern, nor Northern and nor Southern model was chosen. In our discussions, we were guided exclusively by the principles of assessing the security challenges and foreign intelligence needs of the Republic of Armenia and developing a modern foreign intelligence service quintessential to a democratic society. Reasonably, the analysis of accessible information on various professional services having the capacity to effectively respond to modern-day challenges has an important role in the FIS works, which will be assessed according to the degree of applicability in Armenia.