Markos vs Sargsyan

Markos vs Sargsyan

Yesterday, Armenia's newspaper published an interesting letter of a Russian businessman, a native of Yerevan, Levon Markos, who was asked to help saving the Armenian economy by the government and the Central Bank of Armenia in the early 2000s. Vestnik Kavkaza cites a shortened version of the letter.

                               "To the President of the Republic of Armenia, Mr. Sargsyan, from the citizen of the Russian Federation from Levon Markos

                                                   Mr. President!

I address you through the media with an open letter once again, and, apparently, for the last time. Why last? Because you and your assistants persistently leave my written appeals without attention and completely ignore them. That's bad manners, you know, to say the least.

For starters, Serge Azatovich - a little bit of history. Because you need to recall something. Namely, how the then-President Robert Kocharian, you (the Minister of Defense and the Secretary of the Security Council back then) and the Chairman of the Central Bank of Armenia Tigran Sargsyan, having played on my patriotic feelings, decided to ask me to help saving the Armenian economy in early 2000s...

I helped as much as I can to you and your relatives, Mr. President. I hope you have not forgotten about it?

In early 2000s, you, Mr. President, personally came to Moscow with an offer addressed to me: to buy some Armenian plants, factories and other enterprises that actually "failed" and did not represent any economic interest. In addition, you persuaded me for a long time - almost begged - to buy a bankrupt Credit-Yerevan bank. I do not go into details now, but the fact remains. You reasoned that "the country's budget is empty and requires financial income."

I believed you then. And I made a decision to invest substantial funds in the Armenian economy. Which, by the way, made me to curtail some promising and very competitive assets in Russia. Among them, in particular, there was a network of petrol stations Sretenka-Petroleum, covering about 25 filling stations in just Moscow. In addition, I borrowed heavily from Russian banks. And all these significant funds were invested in the Armenian economy. Because I sincerely wanted to help my homeland, which was in a difficult situation.

Trusting you and taking your promises at face value, I bought a number of Armenian enterprises and facilities that went bankrupt and were of no economic interest. In addition to the Credit-Yerevan bank, according to your recommendations, I bought: Sisian stone processing plant, Kapan Copper and Molybdenum Combine, Basalt Jrvezh LLC,  Agrinex CJSC, Hrazdan greenhouse complex, Sevan Motel complex, Intermotor Armenia CJSC (this company was the official distributor of MehrsedesBenz in Armenia in 2002), Zepur beauty salon.

And long before that, I already owned three markets in Yerevan: Yerevan Market N1 LLC (near the State Department Store, which is Tashir now) "; Yerevan market N2 LLC (the covered market on Mashtots avenue); Yerevan market N7 LLC (in the Nork 3rd Micro-District).

I did not hide that I came to Armenia seriously and for a long time and intended to develop a multisectoral business. Based on the above-mentioned and a number of other industrial facilities, I developed several promising industrial projects. Their total value was estimated at $300 million by independent Moscow auditors. These projects could give a serious impetus to the economic development of Armenia. And some of them were nearly at this stage. However no progress has been made. No specifics, just soap bubbles and empty words.

As a result, having invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the Armenian economy, including a certain "stabilization deposit", suffered huge losses and was forced to explain that to local judicial executors. Just do not pretend that you do not have anything to do with it. Sure you do!

It was not fair what you did to me, Mr. Sargsyan (diplomatically speaking). You imposed the Credit-Yerevan bank on me, in order to "rescue of the Fatherland", which money were being drained by everybody who can at that time. As a high-ranking state leader, you did not have any rights and powers to offer redemption of an object burdened with a mass of debts and liabilities. This scam - we will call things by their own names - was pulled off with the direct participation of the then-President Robert Kocharian, the former owner of the Credit-Yerevan bank Martin Oganesyan, the chairman of the Central Bank of Armenia Tigran Sargsyan, as well as you and your family. So I'm wrong?

Today, I'm approached by many compatriots, who talk about the lawlessness and arbitrariness that are happening in Armenia with pain and sorrow. The corruptional-raider system you have built up continues its black business. In recent years, your team has robbed 34 large Armenian businessmen. The same scheme is used: first, people are lured out of large amounts of money "for the sake of the Fatherland", and then accusations are made against them - in order to remove them from business, squeeze them out of Armenia, and grab "sold" objects as well as a lot of money paid for them. These same businessmen are in exactly the same situation, in which you, Robert Kocharyan and Tigran Sargsyan put me. That's how you and people like you earned multi-billion dollar fortunes in a mendicating Armenia.

The objects I bought, Mr. President, were illegally captured by you and handed over to your relatives - Samvel Alexanyan and Gagik Khachatryan. By the way, I have information that Alexanian and Khachatryan repeatedly said that they transfer money and incomes from my objects to you for public needs, and you put them in your pocket. What does it mean? For more than one and a half decades you have illegally appropriated the proceeds from my objects that were captured by you and your stooges (Lfik Samo, Black Gago, and others) in a gangster-like way.

According to your personal instructions, Mr. Sargsyan, a completely groundless criminal case was instituted against me in Armenia, and I was declared an international wanted person. Although I, in fact, had no plans to hide and I don't have them now. You perfectly know my Moscow address, do not be modest. However, I must disappoint you. The fact is that the investigative bodies of the Russian Federation, having thoroughly studied the materials of the case for several years, came to the conclusion that there was no crime in my actions. I was told in writing (I already informed you several times about this!) that this is the final and irrevocable decision of the law enforcement bodies of the Russian Federation, which assumes the recognition of my right as a citizen of the Russian Federation to return all my property illegally grabbed in Armenia. You probably do not like such a verdict of authoritative investigative bodies of Russia. You, apparently, prefer home-grown lawyers, long-trained to dance to your tune. But then why do you regularly sing Russia hypocritical praises, glorifying it as "the most important strategic ally"?

It is time to return my legally owned and raider-seized property in Armenia. For which, by the way, I still pay off bills in Russia.

Mr. President! I hope that at least now you will read my appeal and react to it in substance. I urge you, on the basis of law enforcement decisions, to return me my property. Show, at last, some civil courage and make a fair and lawful decision on the return of my property and compensation for my financial losses.

I am convinced that sooner or later justice will prevail. But why don't you want this to happen during your presidency? I'm not asking for just me - for all the deceived Armenian entrepreneurs of the Diaspora, which were lured by you and your henchmen eloquently and viciously in oriental style. But these beautifully packaged candies turn out to be fake.

Mr. President! Think about the national statehood, about the prestige of our Motherland - Armenia, whose reins of power the Armenian people have entrusted to you for some time. Show yourself, finally, as a true state leader, intolerant of violence and deceit, sympathetic to the needs of the people. Return the deceived Armenian businessmen of the Diaspora their property, which was raiderly captured from your knowledge and with your direct participation. Get this grievous sin off your soul.

Maybe, then the Armenian people will forgive you ...

Levon Markos

Moscow, December 17, 2017"