Tuesday, March 5 2019 16:25

Ruben Varadnyan:

Ruben Varadnyan: <I am not an angel, but there is nothing we should  justify ourselves for>

ArmInfo. <Look, I'm not an angel. In Russia, you have three ways: to be a revolutionist, to leave the country, or to be a conformist. So here I am - conformist>. The well-known Russian entrepreneur, former head of the Troika Dialog investment company,  philanthropist Ruben Vardanyan told this in an interview with  reporters of the OCCRP , which conducts journalst investigations  in  developing countries.

Vardanyan, who led the company until 2013 and then sold it to  Sberbank, was at the center of an offshore scandal investigated by  investigator journalists.

According to the Russian Meduza publication , Vardanyan built the  first investment bank in Russia, Troika Dialog, and received many  awards and prizes for doing business according to high ethical  standards.  However, simultaneously with the main activity <Troika>   created a whole system of offshore companies through which money was  secretly transferred to the most influential people in Russia, for  example, to Vladimir Putin's friend Sergei Roldugin, the newspaper  writes. Over several years, through the accounts of these companies  more than 4.5 billion dollars have passed. The money came, in  particular, from companies that were involved in criminal cases of  money laundering, cashing or the illegal withdrawal of billions of  rubles from Russia. In 2012, Troika was sold to Sberbank.

In the conversation, Ruben Vardanyan did not deny that Troika Dialog  used foreign companies for doing business, which had accounts in  various banks, including Lithuanian Ukio (considered to be the main  intermediary bank closed by Lithuanian authorities in 2013).  According to him, Troika cooperated with approximately 20 such banks.

When asked why the companies and their bank accounts in Ukio were  registered in denominations, Vardanyan said that these were technical  service companies. According to Ruben Vardanyan, in all cases the  clients' funds have already been accepted by the European bank, which  carried out all the necessary procedures, and the bank did not doubt  origin of the funds.

"Foreign banks still use similar practice" explained the financier.  <I want to emphasize: we acted according to the rules that existed at  the time on the global financial market. Obviously, the rules are  changing, and to measure the previous market with today's laws is  like applying new standards of compliance (literally, action  according to a request or indication - Ed. note) to a business during  the Great Depression>.

Vardanyan also assures that <Troika Dialog>knew its customers. Among  them there were no people to whom at that time law enforcement  agencies could have questions.  "I have no information that Troika  Dialog companies received funds from firms that were mentioned in the  Magnitsky case, appeared in a fraudulent scheme for trading in fuel  at Sheremetyevo airport or in a criminal case on Rosgosstrakh money  withdrawal," he said.

The financier also noted that the total turnover of the Troika Dialog  group in those years exceeded two trillion rubles and he could not  know about all transactions across the company.

Ruben Vardanyan refused  to comment on the businesses of his clients  in <Troika Dialog> , but stated that his company had never dealt with  cellist Sergei Roldugin (V.Putin's friend, who in the West is accused  of laundering large sums - ed. note). According to Vardanyan,  <Troika> could fulfill another client's order to transfer money to  the accounts of the musician's companies.

According to a board member of one of the Russian banks, who agreed  to speak with OCCRP on condition of anonymity, every rich or  super-rich person has such structures, and not only from Russia. <  The whole world lives so. All rich people have money formed in the  host country, but there is a part of the income hidden from the tax  authorities. But there is always a fine line between legal practices  to minimize taxes and illegal activities, money laundering.

Ruben Vardanyan himself asked whether the "Troika" provided for its  influential clients with the public image of the company and its  personal ethical standards, contradicted the client-oriented approach  is one of the key business principles.

"Look, I am not an angel," Vardanyan said. - In Russia, you have  three ways: to be a revolutionist, to leave the country or to be a  conformist. So here I am - the conformist. But I have my own internal  restraints: I did not participate in mortgage auctions, did not work  with criminals, did not belong to any political parties.  That is  why, even in the 1990s, I had no guard. And I'm trying to preserve  myself and my principles. It is not necessary to attribute to me  false motives of "remorse", especially in relation to my friends and  partners. We have no need to defend ourselves>.


Вот его то нужно умолять,чтобы он согласился стать премьером в Армении.
Сергей Оганесян
Рубен Варданян один из умнейших, образованнейших и честнейших бизнесменов не только России, но и мира. Те, кто сегодня на Западе ищут компромат на Путина и его ближайшее окружение, ищут не там и не у того. В этом я совершенно не сомневаюсь. Я долгие годы работал во властных структурах России, многое видел и знаю.

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