Haykak Arshamyan, director of Hayastan All-Armenian Fund, recently decided to be honest on public air. He spoke about the need for dialogue between the fund and investors if there was no such dialogue, he said that they should meet with each other, and talk, not take a position of aggrieved. “Unfortunately, today, I have seen that there is tension in the diaspora as well. And, unfortunately, that frustration is neither from me, nor from you, but from the state of Armenia.” But it seems that the director of the fund is the one who is offended. And Arshamyan was upset with those speaking on social networks, bloggers, mass media, media manipulators who, as Arshamyan expressed, “are doing their destructive work in that direction”. Another culprit is the press, or rather, the media. “There is also distress from the war, because there was a big gap in people’s ideas and reality. I think that people should understand that RA has entered a different stage, people look at nationalism and national ideology from a slightly different point of view than, I think, they should,” he said.
It was not clear from Arshamyan’s speech what kind of crack we are talking about. Maybe he remembered about the crack in the funds of Hayastan Fund, which was created in the war year of 2020, when the RA government voluntarily, without asking the trustees, dipped its paw into the collected money and took out from there, no more, no less, 100 million dollars, 170 million dollars collected that year. million dollars. Thus: Nikol Pashinyan made what he was talking about back in 2019 a reality, so that the Hayastan Fund would become the national budget of all of us.
We asked the editor-in-chief and publisher of the “California Courier” newspaper, Harut Sasunyan, if he had watched that interview of Arshamyan, and why, in his opinion, the diaspora was “disenchanted” with the foundation. “The reason for the anger is the 105 million dollars that the Armenian government illegally took from the fund in 2020 and to this day does not say what happened to that money,” Sasunyan said. We wrote to the Union of Armenians of Russia with the same question and received the following answer. “The Union of Armenians of Russia, as an established organization, is not guided by such understandings as “resentment”, especially when it comes to the homeland. Armenians of Russia, even without participating in telethons, provide significant support to Artsakh, including on a regular basis, helping their relatives and acquaintances living there. Along with this,
Of course, there was no question about these financial means on public airwaves, which was surprising, because this is the first question that may arise in the journalist’s mind when seeing Haykak Arshamyan. One could even ask about the exact amount of money: 100 million or 105? The government and the same Haykak Arshamyan did not announce it from the beginning, saying that the money was given to the Ministry of Finance to make urgent purchases from one source.
After this, a crisis of confidence began in the foundation, the indicator of which was the criticism of the latter and the decreasing amount of funds. The 25th telethon, in November of last year, showed that the slogan “Creating vibrant communities” excites few people. Russia did not participate in the marathon at all, and the US participation, which, as a rule, was the largest, including the post-war year, this time was close to zero. However, Haykak Arshamyan was silent as if nothing had happened. He did not even demand a report from the government on how he spent the 100 million dollars of the fund.
The Chamber of Accounts conducted an investigation about 100 million dollars, but the results have not been published. Our source at the foundation informs that they were not given to the foundation on the grounds that there are “confidential things” in the conclusions of the audit. “Haikak Arshamyan, instead of going and demanding that they report to him what they did with those 100 million dollars, is talking about the resentment of the diaspora. Of course, it is a reason to get upset, 100 million is not a small amount. This is also the reason why US fundraisers are catastrophically low, they have a problem in the US. It is true that they say that they have collected money, but they are lying,” former head of the foundation Ara Vardanyan told us. He finds it funny that now the president of the Chamber of Accounts is the person Atom Janjughazyan spent that amount in the budget during his tenure as the Minister of Finance. “The inspection is carried out by a person who was the minister of finance, and he himself controlled the movement of money. It is obvious that he will not “write” anything on himself. In addition, it is strange: for two years, they spread information on different telegram channels that there were cash withdrawals from these funds, in the true sense of the word. Up to 13-14 million dollars were withdrawn. They even attached cash receipts in Telegram channels, but the prosecutor’s office neither initiated a case, nor denied it, nor checked it. And now there is an impression that if they don’t initiate, then there is something. Although an investigative committee was established in the National Assembly, it could not do anything because they demanded the movement of a specific account from the Ministry of Finance. How did the money come from the fund and where did it go? The Ministry of Finance showed how the money came, but did not show where it went. And the issue is not the fund itself. No one says that Haykak put that money in his pocket. On the contrary, they tell him: you have given the money, follow up so that what you have done is fully revealed. This is, after all, the problem of the honor of the foundation. I don’t know what he is upset about, he should demand a report from the government, not sit here and there and talk that they have spent correctly.”
A question was raised on the air of H1 that if you were going to hand over the territories of Artsakh, why were you doing business there? We asked Ara Vardanyan to comment on this. “First, Petros is clearly lying. The authorities of Armenia at all times have never talked or negotiated about the areas where the foundation has carried out work. If you look at the programs implemented by the fund, 99 percent of them were implemented within the borders of Nagorno-Karabakh.”
The weakening of the emotional connection of Armenians around the world with the Hayastan Foundation and the low rating of this structure are not new for a long time. The Foundation’s telethons and telethons have been going unnoticed for a long time and are no longer broadcast in the “live” mode, but on video recording, and for the mass media, they have long been “second class” events.
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