YEREVAN. – President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan proposed the candidacy of the Armenian ambassador to UK Armen Sarkissian for the post of the president from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia. Yesterday Sarkissian‘s candidacy was approved at a meeting of the RPA executive body.
Armen Sarkissian was born on June 23, 1953 in Yerevan. He is married, has two sons and three grandchildren. No party affiliation.
Armen Sarkissian graduated from the Yerevan State University, Faculty of Theoretical Physics and Mathematics.
From 1976 to 1984 Armen Sarkissian was Professor of Physics and Founder of the Department of Computer Modelling of Complex Systems at the Yerevan State University.
From 1984 to1985 and from 1989 to 1991 - Visiting research fellow and later Professor at the University of Cambridge, Institute of Mathematics of London University.
From 1991 to 1995 he was Armenian ambassador to the UK.
From 1991 to 1999 - Armen Sarkissian was Senior Ambassador to Europe, Ambassador to the European Union, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and the Vatican.
From 1995 to 1996- The Head of Mission of Armenia to the EU.
From 1998 to1999- Reappointed Ambassador of Armenia to the UK.
2000- Founding President of the Eurasia House International.
2001-2013 Senior Advisor of the companies British Petroleum, Alcatel, Telefonica, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and other multinational corporations.
September 2013, Armen Sarkissian became the Ambassador of Armenia to the United Kingdom for the third time.
On November 1, 1996, Armen Sarkissian became the fifth prime minister of Armenia and left the post on February 28, 1997. According to some reports, the reason was alleged clash with the then defense minister Vazgen Sargsyan. The formal reports suggested he resigned because an urgent need to undergo treatment from a grave illness.
When Armen Sarkissian was the head of the government, he made efforts to establish head offices of international companies in Yerevan. The Prime Minister wanted to make Armenia “a country of holdings”.
Business activity with “love” for Yerevan
Armen Sarkissian established Yerevan My Love foundation in 2009. Prince of Wales, Robert Dudley, Lord Ara Darzi, entrepreneur Ruben Vardanyan, as well as Bank of America, VimpelCom, ITERA, AREVA and others were mentioned in the list of his trustees.
In 2013, the Yerevan Municipality presented the Yerevan My Love foundation a land of 1005 square meters. Four years have passed, but the construction is at a standstill.
In May 2013, Armen Sarkissian accompanied Prince Charles during his trip to Armenia as a guest of Yerevan My Love foundation.
The Prince's trip was associated with lobbying for the activities of the British company Lydian International, whose board member is Armen Sarkissian. The company has obtained a concession from the country's authorities for the development of a gold mine on Mount Amulsar.
During the presidency of Robert Kocharyan, Armen Sarkissian promoted the activities of Alcatel SA in Armenia - one of the leaders in the world telecommunications equipment market.
Around the world
In 2002 Armen Sarkissian founded an annual Eurasian Media Forum in Astana, whose chairman is daughter of President of Kazakhstan Dariga Nazarbayeva, who was in Armenia in May 2013 within Yerevan My Love initiative.
Prince Charles, prominent representatives of the Armenian Diaspora, , Anatoly Chubais, Nursultan Nazarbayev and Yulia Tymoshenko are among his friend.
In August 2013 the Russian weekly Kompaniya published a long article about Sarkissian.
In early 2000, Armen Sarkissian created several investment companies. Their names are associated with different areas of London, where Sarkissian lives: Knightsbridge Group and Highbury Group. He does not disclose capital stocks. Speaking on the origin of funds he said that these are “family funds” and include the funds of both the Sarkissian family and his acquaintances.
At that time, Sarkissian’s business included 25 subsidiaries in various fields: telecommunications, technology, multimedia, real estate, energy and agriculture. The head company of the group was the Knightsbridge Investment Fund, whose board of directors consisted of representatives of international financial organizations and banks.
Knightsbridge Group invested throughout the Eastern Hemisphere. For example, the group invested in the creation of broadband Internet in Turkmenistan.
The company is also interested in Russia. Sarkissian’s group entered the Russian market through Knightsbridge Cybersystems with director general being his eldest son Vartan Sarkissian, an IT specialist and entrepreneur.
An ambassador with zero income or incomplete declaration
According to media, Armenian ambassador to UK Armen Sarkissian presented an incomplete declaration to the Ethics Commission.
Armen Sarkissian was appointed Armenian Ambassador to UK for the third time in September 2013. According to the declaration, at that time Sarkissian had three mansions, two apartments and eight million Euros. It turns out that the ambassador is working for free.
The declaration of his wife Nouneh Sarkissian included monetary funds only. Since the ambassador's declaration raised suspicions over the salary, it is possible that the declaration of his wife is also not fully represented, the media said.