Wednesday, 19 September

Armenian Government Officials: Some Fail to Declare Businesses in Ukraine


Present and former Armenian government officials and their relatives own many businesses and real estate in the Eastern European countries, including Ukraine.

Currently, there are nearly 400,000 Armenians living in Ukraine (including the Crimea), of which 40,000 live in Kyiv.

Ukraine is attractive for Armenians for various reasons, such as the absence of a language barrier and liberal environment for investment and real estate acquisition. Ukraine is similar to Armenia in many ways.

Foreigners may buy real estate like Ukrainian citizens, except for agricultural land and community-owned facilities. However, even these can be bought by registering a legal entity in that country.

Although Ukrainian legislation doesn’t foresee dual citizenship, a person may still have another citizenship, and be considered as a citizen of Ukraine within it.

Last year Hetq wrote about real estate in Odessa owned by Armenian MP Sedrak (Seyran) Saroyan. He’s not the only one among Armenian officials who fails to declare their Ukrainian businesses in their financial disclosures.

Gagik Tsarukyan declared two out of his three Ukrainian businesses

One of these officials is Gagik Tsarukyan, the leader of the Tsarukyan Alliance. In his declarations, Tsarukyan, as a rule, includes even smaller businesses, as seen in case of his Bulgarian businesses.

Gagik Tsarukyan has no real estate in Ukraine registered in his own name. Instead, we found three companies with his participation in the Ukrainian registry.

Business-Techno Plaza

Business-Techno Plaza LLC was founded in February, 2006 by Aleksey Grebenchenko. Initially, the charter capital was 35,000 hryvnia, which soon grew to 1.9 million. In July 2008, Tsarukyan became a shareholder of the LLC, with a share of 1,924,650 hryvnia (about USD 67,000). In April 2010, Seyran Rostomyan became another shareholder of the company. To date, according to the registry, Tsarukyan owns 99,9818% of the shares (1,924,650 hryvnia), while the remaining 0.0182% (350 hryvnia) belong to Rostomyan.

Rostomyan, registered in the Golovanevsk town in Ukraine, has been the director of the company since the spring of 2010. The LLC is registered in Kyiv, at 7 Holosiivska Street.

The company’s activities include the sale and lease of real estate, entrepreneurship and management consultations, and other professional activities.

The name of Business-Techno Plaza LLC, with a charter capital of about 2 million hryvnia, is missing from the financial disclosure submitted to the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) and property and income disclosures submitted to the Commission on Ethics of High-Ranking Officials of the Republic of Armenia.

Raneb and Arben:Twin Companies

Two companies were founded in Kyiv on December 16, 2010. According to the Ukrainian registry, the companies had different shareholders in the beginning: Karineh Rostomyan, the sister of above-mentioned Seyran Rostomyan, in case of Raneb LLC, and Tatyana Shugayeva, - for Arben LLC. However, after a couple of days, the charter capital of the two companies was distributed between Tsarukyan and Sedrak Arustamyan.

Thus, Tsarukyan owns 99% shares of the 5,951,430-hryvnia charter capital (more than USD 207,000) of Raneb LLC, and the remaining 1% belongs to his associate. The same for the second company, although its capital is less - 2,151,253 hryvnia (around USD 75,000).

Not surprisingly, 25 types of business activities of the two companies are the same, including construction, organization of trade expos and seminars, film and television production, etc. In both cases, however, the main activity is provision of subsidiary services in the field of forestry.

Raneb’s address is 14 Kruglouniversitetskaya in the center of Kyiv (in the photo above), Arben is registered at 15 Bastionna Street (both are multi-apartment buildings). However, there is no real estate registered in their name.

Tsarukyan has declared his shares in the twin companies. However, according to the submitted documents, he doesn’t get any dividends from those.

Nushikyan's Ukrainian Edelweiss

Businessman and MP in 2012-2017 (non-party, but representing the Republican Party of Armenia Faction) Garegin Nushikyan founded Edelweiss LLC in Ukraine (address: 4 Mekhanizatoriv Str., Kyiv) in August 2006.

In Armenia, Nushikyan has a company with the same name, dealing with retail trade in clothing. The Ukrainian company’s sphere is different - wholesale trade of furniture, carpets, non-electric household appliances, retail trade of furniture, intermediary trade in wide range of goods, as well as restaurant service. Nevertheless, neither the LLC nor the businessman have any real estate registered in their name.

The company's charter capital is 38,000 hryvnia (USD 1,322). The current director is Olesya Dyomina. The company is registered in Kyiv. Nushikyan did not mention the 100% stake in this company in either of his disclosures.

MP Arman Sahakyan’s Company

Republican Party of Armenia MP Arman Sahakyan (an MP since 2012), who owns several businesses in Armenia, including Sovrano Ltd,  also established a company in Ukraine in November 2005, called Mantashov Commercial House (address: 12 Melnykova Str., Kyiv),together with Arman Barseghyan, registered in Kyiv, with a 50-50 proportion of shares. The charter capital is 3,785,402 hryvnia (around USD 131,730). The activities include wholesale trade of fruits, vegetables, beverages, fish and seafood, retail trade of meat and meat products in specialized stores, etc. Sahakyan is not a beneficiary in the Ukrainian company. His partner Barseghyan is the beneficiary and the director of the company.

Meanwhile, the Ethics Commission website doesn’t have Sahakyan’s declarations for the MP appointments in 2012 and 2017, in which he had to present the Ukrainian property as well.

Chairman of the Cadastre Committee

Martin Sargsyan, who has been the Chair of the State Committee of the Real Estate Cadastre since 2014, is one of the most prominent figures of Armenian Republican Party. He was an MP in 1998-1999 and 2007-2014, head of the Shengavit district of Yerevan in 1998-2007. Since 2002, he has been the president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the RA, and the chairman of Shengavit RPA board.

In September 2005, Sargsyan, together with Vahagn Movsisyan and Harutyun Khurshudyan, founded Sar-Mov LLC in Borislav city in Ukraine. Khurshudyan soon left the company, and Sargsyan and Movsisyan shared the 33,000-hryvnia (USD 1,145) charter capital equally.

Vahagn Movsisyan was the director of the Armenian Development Agency in 2000-2007, and was appointed Ambassador of Armenia to China. In June 2008, he died in Beijing. It's strange, but up to now, Movsisyan's data has been preserved in the list of Sar-Mov LLC shareholders.

The company's several activities, travel agency operation being the main one. There is no real estate registered in the name of Sargsyan or the company. The current director of the company is Tatyana Baranyak.

Martin Sargsyan submitted disclosures in 2012 and in 2014, but did not mention his Ukrainian business in any of them.


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