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Kristine Aghalaryan

Armenia's New Ambassador to Georgia; Deep Pockets, but a Lackluster Legislator

Newly appointed Armenian Ambassador to Georgia Ruben Sadoyan is a man of means, but has a lackluster record as a member of parliament

We know this from the financial disclosures he filed while a member of the Armenian National Assembly from 2007-2017. (Sadoyan has still failed to file a disclosure, as required, after assuming the job of ambassador.)

In 2014, Sadoyan declared cash assets of US$1 million, EUR 149,000 euros, and AMD 138 million ($286,000). His salary was only AMD 2.9 million. He declared no property holdings.

In the public eye, Sadoyan, along with his brother, is most closely connected with Unigraf, a company contracted by the Yerevan Municipality to sterilize and remove stray dogs from the streets of the Armenian capital. The brothers transferred their shares to others in 2007 and 2012.

Ruben Sadoyan, according to Armenia’s State Revenue Committee, has been the sole owner of Podo First, a company engaged in the retail gasoline and liquid gas business for automobiles, since 2005.

He failed to mention any of this in his financial disclosure.

Armenia’s Ministry of Finance decided to shut the company down in 2014 and 2015․ Both decisions were reversed, and fines of AMD 300,000 were levied instead.

In 2006, Sadoyan founded an advertising agency called Universal Graphics. Alfred Sadoyan, Ruben’s son, held the shares.

The Sadoyans evidently liked the advertising business because they formed two new companies in 2016 – Gallery LLC (owned by Ruben’s wife Meri Aghayan), and Design House LLC (owned by his daughter Emma).

In 2015-2016, while still a member of parliament, Ruben Sadoyan was involved in a court case as a loan guarantor. Armenia’s AmeriaBank sued several companies, and Sadoyan, demanding restitution of US$ 174,000. The bank won, and the defendants didn’t appeal.

During his ten years in the Armenian parliament, Sadoyan never introduced any legislation and he never took the floor to voice issues pertinent to his district. He was also known for his poor attendance record.