Arayik Harutyunyan

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Arayik Harutyunyan
Արայիկ Հարությունյան
Arayik Harutyunyan.png
Harutyunyan in 2020
4th President of Artsakh
Assumed office
21 May 2020
Preceded byBako Sahakyan
1st State Minister of Artsakh
In office
25 September 2017 – 6 June 2018
PresidentBako Sahakyan
Preceded byOffice created
Succeeded byGrigory Martirosyan
6th Prime Minister of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic
In office
14 September 2007 – 25 September 2017
PresidentBako Sahakyan
Preceded byAnushavan Danielyan
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Personal details
Born (1973-12-14) 14 December 1973 (age 48)
Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast, Azerbaijan SSR, Soviet Union
Political partyFree Motherland
Spouse(s)Kristina Harutyunyan
ChildrenThree daughters
Alma materYerevan State Institute of Economy
Artsakh University
Military service
Allegiance Nagorno-Karabakh Republic
Branch/service Artsakh Defense Army
Years of service1992–1994
Battles/warsFirst Nagorno-Karabakh War

Arayik Vladimiri Harutyunyan (Armenian: Արայիկ Վլադիմիրի Հարությունյան; born 14 December 1973) is an Artsakhi politician who has been serving as the President of Artsakh since 2020. He was formerly the 1st State Minister from 2017 until his resignation in 2018 and 6th and last Prime Minister of the Republic of Artsakh from 2007 until its abolishment upon the adoption of a new constitution in 2017.

Early life[edit]

Harutyunyan was born in Stepanakert, then capital of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast, part of the Azerbaijani SSR, then Soviet Union, in 1973. He attended Yerevan State Institute of Economy in 1990 and two years after, in 1992, joined the self-defence forces of Nagorno-Karabakh and took part in the First Nagorno-Karabakh War. After the war, he moved from Yerevan State Institute of Economy to Artsakh State University Faculty of Economics and graduated in 1995. Three years later, in 1998, he finished his post-graduate course at Artsakh State University.[1]


Harutyunyan started his career at the Ministry of Finance and Economy of Artsakh in 1994, serving as assistant to the minister. In 1997, he left the ministry and started his career in the private sector, in Armagrobank, working there until 2004.

In the National Assembly[edit]

Harutyunyan co-founded the Free Motherland party in 2005 which took part in the 2005 parliamentary election, winning 10 out of 33 seats in the National Assembly of Artsakh. He also served as the Chairman of Free Motherland and the Free Motherland faction in the National Assembly. Harutyunyan headed the Commission on Financial, Budget and Economy Management in the National Assembly.[2]


In 2007, he was appointed Prime Minister by then-President Bako Sahakyan. His first speech as Prime Minister was full of promises to revive the economy, democracy and social justice in the unrecognised country. The urgent steps that he promised to take included ‘fighting against corruption, protectionism, the clan system and social evils'.[3] After 2017 constitutional referendum, Artsakh was transformed from semi-presidential system into a presidential system and the office of the Prime Minister was abolished. Harutyunyan remained in the Sahakyan government and was appointed as State Minister.[4]

President Harutyunyan announces the names of the Heroes of Artsakh during Second Nagorno-Karabakh War


He participated in and won the 2020 Artsakhian general election, thereby becoming the 4th President of Artsakh.[5][6] He was inaugurated on 21 May[7] in a ceremony that was attended by his opponent Masis Mayilyan and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.[8][9] During the ceremony, which was held in Shusha instead of Stepanakert (a decision which angered the authorities in Baku),[10] he described Artsakh and Armenia as “inseparable parts of a united national homeland”.[11] During the first week of his presidency, he signed two highly publicized executive orders: The first one changed the seat of the National Assembly of Artsakh from Stepanakert to Shusha, while the second made all tertiary education in Artsakh free. On September 19, he announced that the National Assembly will be moved from the capital to Shusha by in 2022, in time for the 30th anniversary of the Capture of Shusha.[12]

2020 conflict[edit]

During the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Ministry of Defence of Azerbaijan claimed that the Azerbaijani Army had severely wounded Harutyunyan, who had visited the front that morning.[13][14] These allegations were denied by both Harutyunyan and his government.[15] On 23 October, Harutyunyan published an open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin penned by himself, calling for Russian support to Artsakh, noting Russia's historical ties to the region and the many notable Russian and Soviet figures from Karabakh.[16] On 27 October, he dismissed Jalal Harutyunyan from the post of Minister of Defence after he was wounded in fighting.[17] It came a week after he promoted him to the rank of Lieutenant general[18][19] and a day later Harutyunyan granted him with the title of Hero of Artsakh.[20] On 9 November, he gave his consent for Nikol Pashinyan to sign the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire agreement between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia.[21]

Aftermath of 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War[edit]

On 11 November, Harutyunyan called on citizens of Artsakh to refrain from participating in the Armenian protests in Yerevan, calling on them to return home and declaring that "Artsakh will remain Armenian".[22] A couple of days later, he received General Rustam Muradov, commander of the Russian peacekeeping forces in Nagorno-Karabakh, who arrived in Stepanakert to begin the peacekeeping mission in the region.[23]

On 1 December 2020, President Harutyunyan announced that a national unity government would be formed and a number of cabinet officials would be replaced, pending snap elections. He announced his intention to leave politics permanently and that he would not run in the coming elections.[24] On December 16, Harutyunyan announced that all security-related decisions would have to be approved by the Security Council of Artsakh, giving significant powers to the council's head Vitaly Balasanyan.[24]

Honours and awards[edit]

  • Awarded with the medal “For the Liberation of Shushi” and decorated with the order “Martial Cross” 2nd degree.
  • By the decree of the NKR President dated August 30, 2016 Harutyunyan was decorated with the order “Grigor Lusavorich” for his services rendered to the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the proclamation of NKR.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Arayik Harutyunyan - Former Prime Ministers - Government - Government of Artsakh Republic". Retrieved 2020-04-26.
  2. ^ "Araik V. Harutyunyan". Retrieved 2020-04-26.
  3. ^ Новый кабинет министров Нагорного Карабаха будет вести решительную борьбу со взяточничеством, протекционизмом и клановостью - Новости Карабаха - ИА REGNUM Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Official website of the President of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic". Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  5. ^ Elliott, Raffi (2020-04-15). "Artsakh elects new president amid pandemic". The Armenian Weekly. Retrieved 2020-04-26.
  6. ^ "Harutyunian Sworn In As President Of Disputed Nagorno-Karabakh Region". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  7. ^ "LIVE. Արայիկ Հարությունյանի երդմնակալության արարողությունը Շուշիում". Youtube. 21 May 2020. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21.
  8. ^ "Official website of the President of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic". Retrieved 2020-10-31.
  9. ^ "Arayik Harutyunyan Sworn in as Artsakh President". USC Institute of Armenian Studies. 2020-05-22. Retrieved 2020-10-31.
  10. ^ "Shusha and Lacin: The two towns shaping the Armenia-Azerbaijani conflict". Shusha and Lacin: The two towns shaping the Armenia-Azerbaijani conflict. Retrieved 2020-10-31.
  11. ^ "New Karabakh Leader Inaugurated". «Ազատ Եվրոպա/Ազատություն» ռադիոկայան (in Armenian). Retrieved 2020-10-31.
  12. ^ "Official website of the President of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic". Retrieved 2020-10-31.
  13. ^ "Presidential aide: 'As a result of our army's accurate strike, Araik Arutunyan was severely wounded'". 4 October 2020. Retrieved 4 October 2020. H. Hajiyev said the cluster bombs are launched on the Azerbaijani cities: 'Armenia is a terrorist state. Azerbaijan doesn't leave any of these attacks without response. As of now, it is stated that this fire was inflicted from the occupied territories by order of head of the so-called Nagorno Garabagh Republic Araik Arutunyan. I would like to appeal from here to Araik Arutunyan. Araik Artunyan, you were hiding in bunker, the Azerbaijani army found you even there. As a result of accurate strike of our army, Araik Arutunyan was severely wounded. The same fate awaits other separatists as well.'
  14. ^ "President of Artsakh returns from frontline, praises 'inspiration, feats and heroism' of troops". Armenpress. 4 October 2020. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  15. ^ "Artsakh denies Azeri reports claiming president is wounded". Armenpress. 4 October 2020. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  16. ^ "Arayik Harutyunyan issues open letter to Vladimir Putin". Retrieved 2020-10-31.
  17. ^ "Artsakh President: Defense minister Jalal Harutyunyan is relieved of post, he is wounded". October 27, 2020. Archived from the original on October 27, 2020. Retrieved October 31, 2020.
  18. ^ "President of Artsakh bestows Defense Minister with Lieutenant-General military rank". Retrieved 2020-10-25.
  19. ^ "Artsakh DM, Commander of Defense Army awarded military rank of Lieutenant-General". Retrieved 2020-10-30.
  20. ^ "Որոշում եմ կայացրել գեներալ-լեյտենանտ Ջալալ Հարությունյանին շնորհել "Արցախի հերոս" բարձրագույն կոչում. Արայիկ Հարությունյան". Aravot. 28 October 2020.
  21. ^ "Artsakh President Arayik Harutyunyan on Armenia's Agreement with Azerbaijan, Russia". 9 November 2020.
  22. ^ "Arayik Harutyunyan calls on Artsakh Armenians to stop looking for traitors and return home". Public Radio of Armenia. Retrieved 2020-11-13.
  23. ^ "Artsakh President receives commander of the Russian peacekeeping troops". Public Radio of Armenia. Retrieved 2020-11-13.
  24. ^ a b Meljumyan, Ani (7 January 2021). "Nagorno-Karabakh shuffles top officials, plans new elections". Archived from the original on 2021-01-07. Retrieved 25 January 2021.
Political offices
Preceded by Prime Minister of Artsakh
Office abolished
New office State Minister of Artsakh
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of Artsakh