Շաբաթ, նոյեմբերի 28, 2015 Ժամանակը Երեւանում 22:10Source : http://www.azatutyun.am/content/article/27377996.html
Armenian Envoy To Ukraine In Hot Water
Հրապարակված է՝ 20.11.2015
Armenia’s ambassador to Ukraine has come under fire from a Ukrainian media outlet after it emerged that he lives in a luxury house in Kiev belonging to a fugitive crony of Viktor Yanukovich, the country’s deposed former president.
Viktor Sivets, the former head of Ukraine’s state forestry agency, was among senior Ukrainian officials who fled to Russia in early 2014 after Yanukovich was swept from power by a popular uprising known as “Euromaidan.” Ukrainian law-enforcement authorities subsequently named him as a suspect in a criminal investigation into alleged corruption within the agency. He reportedly has millions of dollars worth of assets in Ukraine registered in his wife Marina Zhuravlyova’s name.
The Ukrainian investigative publication CorruptUA.org revealed this week that one of those properties, a $2.4 million villa in Kiev, is rented by the Armenian Ambassador Andranik Manukian and serves as his official residence. It said the diplomatic status of the property means that it cannot be confiscated or even searched by the authorities. It claimed that Zhuravlyova stays in that house when she periodically travels from Moscow to Kiev.
Manukian on Friday flatly denied helping Sivets secure the house or shielding his wife from prosecution. He claimed that he was unaware of Sivets’s connection with the property when he leased it in September 2013, shortly before the onset of “Euromaidan” protests in the Ukrainian capital.
“I signed the lease agreement with Marina Zhuravlyova, the house owner,” Manukian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “At that time, Yanukovich was in power and nobody would predict that he will run away and betray this country.”
“If the Ukrainian authorities have a problem with those persons and think that I placed the house under diplomatic cover, then I will readily vacate it,” he said. “Nobody has ever asked me why I live there.”
Manukian, who has extensive business interests in and outside Armenia, also insisted that he pays for the expensive property out of his own pocket, rather than with funds provided by the Armenian Foreign Ministry.
Շաբաթ, նոյեմբերի 28, 2015 Ժամանակը Երեւանում 22:07Source : http://www.azatutyun.am/content/article/27382533.html
Armenian Ambassador Changes Ukraine Residence After Controversy
Հրապարակված է՝ 23.11.2015
Armenia’s ambassador to Ukraine, Andranik Manukian, has vacated his rented house in Kiev after local media revealed that it belongs to the family of a former Ukrainian government official suspected of corruption.
“I have called the landlady and already severed my lease agreement with her,” Manukian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “I have moved to another house.”
“If the Ukrainian authorities have a problem with that house, let them do whatever they want,” he said. “It doesn’t have diplomatic immunity anymore.”
The official in question, Viktor Sivets, headed Ukraine’s state forestry agency until President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted from power in early 2014 in the “Euromaidan” popular revolt. Sivets, who was close to Yanukovich, fled to Russia along with other members of the deposed Ukrainian government.
Sivets reportedly owns businesses and expensive properties in Ukraine registered in his wife Marina Zhuravlyova’s name. One of those properties, a $2.4 million villa in Kiev, was rented by Manukian, serving as the Armenian ambassador’s official residence. The Ukrainian investigative publication CorruptUA.org said last week the diplomatic status prevents Ukrainian authorities from searching the house as part of an ongoing criminal investigation into alleged corrupt practices in the agency formerly run by Sivets.
Manukian flatly denied helping Sivets secure the house or shielding his wife from prosecution when contacted by RFE/RL’s Armenian service late last week. He claimed that he was unaware of Sivets’s connection with the property when he leased it in September 2013, two months before the onset of “Euromaidan” protests in the Ukrainian capital.
Manukian, who was a wealthy businessman before his diplomatic post, also dismissed CorruptUA claims that Zhuravloyva stays in the house when she periodically travels from Moscow to Kiev.
Alla Shershen, a Ukrainian investigative reporter, tried to enter the house two months ago. “One of the house workers was watering the trees,” Shershen told RFE/RL’s Ukrainian service. “I asked him whether Marina Vassilevna [Zhuravlyova] is at home. He said that she is at home.”
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