Ruben Vardanyan is on Ukraine's "Mirovorets" list - saving "Artsakh" and "Armenian statehood" has become more difficult for him

23.06.23 17:00

After Armenian shelling of the Azerbaijani checkpoint on the Lachin road, Azerbaijan was forced to temporarily suspend traffic through the checkpoint. As was to be expected, the Armenian nationalists began again howling about the "blockade of Artsakh", "genocide" and so on. Ruben Vardanyan, a Russian billionaire of Armenian origin, also joined the propaganda wave.


Ruben Vardanyan once again appears as "saviour of Artsakh". He, in particular, published the following information.


"In this seemingly hopeless situation, I want to tell you about a small programme that is warming up. We Are Our Mountains" agency has launched a new project in Artsakh, under which solar water heaters will be installed in more than 70 kindergartens and health facilities in Stepanakert, Martuni, Martakert and Askeran regions. This means that regardless of power and gas cuts, these important social institutions will have hot water in an alternative way, thanks to solar energy. This programme is among those projects "authored" by the blockade. It is a small scale project, but it will neutralize the influence of the Azerbaijani efforts for at least 70 institutions. By giving this example, I want to say that we can. We can resist, we can preserve "Artsakh" if we act competently, if we find non-standard, "alternative" solutions, disproportionate, but strong answers, which will make the enemy to reckon with us. Everything is in our hands".


So it appears that Ruben Vardanian has taken it upon himself to provide Karabakh Armenians with heat and electricity with his "solar water heaters" and gives the separatist-minded Karabakh Armenians hope that there will be other "unconventional, 'alternative' solutions, disproportionate but strong responses"? This simply looks like a mockery. Karabakh Armenians themselves are already aware that they need to abandon separatist illusions and immediately begin steps towards integration into a unified Azerbaijan and obtaining Azerbaijani citizenship, which guarantees them a normal life and security. Today, separatists and people like Ruben Vardanyan have actually taken the Karabakh Armenians hostage.


At the same time, Ruben Vardanyan began blaming the situation in the Armenian-populated areas of Karabakh not only on the Azerbaijani side but also on the Armenian authorities. But not for the armed provocation on the border, but for the "surrender of 'Artsakh'". It is clear why - Ruben Vardanyan, together with part of the Karabakh clan, still has hope to stage a coup d'état in Armenia with the help of the Russian contingent and revanchists and come to power as the "saviour of Armenia and 'Artsakh'".


Ruben Vardanian accused Armenia's current Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of trying to question the very existence of Armenian statehood: 'Following his statements on the recognition of 'Artsakh' as part of Azerbaijan, Pashinyan started making speeches in which he tries to question the very existence of Armenian statehood,' said Vardanian.However, Ruben Vardanyan's opportunities to fight for the separatist Artsakh and save "Armenian statehood" (in fact, to prepare a coup d'état in Armenia itself) have recently become far fewer than they used to be. The fact is that he was added to the Ukrainian sanctions database "Peacemaker" as a supporter of Russian aggression against Ukraine. The "Peacemaker" list lists him as a person subject to "immediate detention and transfer to law enforcement authorities of Ukraine and NATO countries".


"The Peacemaker Centre asks law enforcement authorities to consider this publication on the website as a statement that this citizen has committed deliberate acts against the national security of Ukraine, peace, security of humanity and international law and order, as well as other offences," the Ukrainian Peacemaker Centre said in a statement.


A very informative article about Ruben Vardanyan regarding his inclusion on the "Peacemaker" sanction list was also recently published on the EUToday website:Who is protecting “Putin’s wallet” in the West? ( ):


Russian oligarch Ruben Vardanyan, who acted as State Minister of the separatist Karabakh administration on Azerbaijani territory, was designated a “person subject to immediate arrest and handing over to law enforcement agencies of Ukraine or NATO countries”


This happened after Vardanyan’s profile was published  in the Ukrainian database “Myrotvorets’ on June 17th, which lists accomplices to the Russian aggression.


Vardanyan’s file was submitted to the database by the Ukrainian Secret Service (SSU) and the reason for blacklisting him is the fact that he held positions in “the top management of a major Russian company involved in the material support (transport, logistics and others) of actions aimed at undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine”.


This is not the first time Ukrainian authorities pay attention to the activities of Vardanyan, nicknamed “Putin’s wallet’. Following the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Vardanyan was placed on the Ukrainian government’s list of sanctioned people for his role as a board member of the Russian air cargo company Volga Dnepr, which plays a major role in Russian military air transport.


But Ukrainians are neither the only nor the first ones who demanded to bring Vardanyan to justice. In March 2019, three years before the barbaric Russian invasion, 22 Members of the European Parliament addressed the President of the European Commission demanding an investigation on Vardanyan, who gained his riches in Moscow through companies that today are on the list of Russia’s most western-sanctioned companies. They quoted the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) investigation about billions of euros laundered by Vardanyan for Putin’s close circle.


In 2022, 46 members of the US Congress called to impose personal sanctions on him.


Strangely enough, nothing happened. Two years after that Vardanyan was made a “State Minister” of the so-called government of Karabakh, an Azerbaijani territory partially occupied by Kremlin-backed pro-Armenian and pro-Russian separatists. Western media even interviewed him in spite of the fact that he was obviously Putin’s henchman and headed an unrecognized separatist “republic”. He was dismissed from the post because of a series of publications in leading American outlets concerning his connections to the Kremlin, as it made his role as a creator of instability in the Southern Caucasus more apparent. To quote The European Conservative, “Whether true or not that Vardanyan is profiteering from human desperation, he is certainly jeopardizing prospects for peace”.


But he continues this activity in the midst of an attempt between the EU and the United States to bring about a peaceful settlement between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Recently Vardanyan urged Armenians in Karabakh to take up arms.  In his speech at the rally on May 9 in the city of Khankedi he reiterated the “need for the Russian military presence in Karabakh”, which the Wall Street Journal calls a tool for preserving Putin’s influence in the Southern Caucasus.


So, who is protecting him in the West? Let’s see which Western media outlets support Vardanyan, and where their allegiance lies.


The Armenian Weekly, a publication of the ANCA (Armenian National Committee of America), which lobbies Armenian interests in the US, is one of the major media supporters of Vardanyan.


For example, they quote Vardanyan’s interview by Ehsan Movahedian, professor of international relations at ATU University in Tehran. In the interview, published on February 13, 2023 Vardanyan reflected upon the importance of the Russian troops stationed in the separatist enclave and upon Armenian-Iranian relations.


Movahedian is one of the ideologists of the Ayatollah’s regime, well-known for his anti-Western, anti-Israeli and overwhelmingly Antisemitic stance. The Israeli media and the US think tanks are well acquainted with his activities.


On February 6th, 2023 the ANCA Western Region hosted a packed online Town Hall meeting with Vardanyan. Representative Adam Schiff, one of the major pro-Armenian lobbyists, who was among the attendees, did not even blink, when Vardanyan explained that the numbers of the “Russian peacekeepers” are “very limited, less than 2000 people”.


Later, The Armenian Weekly decried dismissing Vardanyan from the post of “State Minister” of the separatist enclave, totally ignoring, of course, him being Putin’s henchman.


ANCA republishes his interviews on its website. ANCA retweets Vardanyan’s posts and tags him, while turning to the US high ranking officials, despite Vardanyan’s attempts to derail the negotiations the US is in the process of facilitating.


What we can gather from everything above is that it is, in fact, the Armenian lobby which is the power that supports and protects “Putin’s wallet” from justice. So the question is, whose interests is this lobby actually serving?” The end.


Ruben Vardanian is unequivocally against a peace settlement between Armenia and Azerbaijan. It is no coincidence that he called on Armenians living in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan to take up arms, and this statement was made against the backdrop of EU and US efforts to achieve a peace settlement. Ruben Varlanyan has definitively "branded" himself as an aggressive pro-Russian marginal.



Alexandr Gedevanov

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