Sergey Sarkisov: ‘The Wolf in Counsul’s Clothing’
Beverly Hills is home to many colorful characters. There are those who arrive to “make it big” and become legitimately famous and there are others who are known only for their notoriety.
Take Sergey (or Sergei) Sarkisov. Sarkisov who serves as Consul General to the Republic of Armenia in Los Angeles. Hollywood-based, he is the single largest donor to the Armenia Fund and was (in all likelihood) accordingly bestowed the title of Consul General for his supposed dutiful commitment to its mission.
However, Sergey doesn’t speak Armenian. And yet despite this fact, he, the 96th richest man in Russia, is tasked as Consul General with maintaining diplomatic relations on behalf of Armenia with 13 western states.
In implementing Armenia’s Russia-first foreign policy, Sarkisov interacts with federal, state and local officials across the country, such as Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. This posting gives the Russian native unprecedented access to influencing the influencers of American polity of the highest order.
Now most countries – including the United States – believe the preeminent role of a central government is to protect the sovereignty of that nation and to provide for the safety of its citizens. That sense of national pride generally extends to those who the country chooses to represent it on the world stage as diplomats.
The United States, for example, requires that all of its Foreign Service officers be US citizens.
And yet here we have Consul General Sarkisov, born in Moscow and an attendee of Moscow State University. His citizenship is Russian and he has residency in Moscow to this day.
Sarkisov’s children have gained notoriety for their “Russian oligarch” lifestyles and although not exactly the silver screen, Sarkisov himself is also the producer of a Russian animated film, “The Fixies: Top Secret,” a cartoon that will be released in Russia later this month.
Forbes Magazine lists Sarkisov’s source of wealth as “insurance and real estate, a self-made entrepreneur.” This however, is deliberately opaque.
Sarkisov transformed his senior position with the Soviet insurance company, Ingosstrakh, to a collaboration with RESO, a private insurance company, created in 1991. Sarkisov also reportedly benefited from favorable privatization deals of Russian government-owned property.
As Consul General, Sarkisov should be responsible for implementing Armenia’s foreign policy in the western United States. Of note, this includes “strengthening and deepening [the] special partnership and allied relationship with Russia, based upon the traditional friendly ties between the two nations.” Second to Russia, “Armenia attaches importance to the development and deepening of friendly partnership opportunities and enhancing cooperation with the United States.”
Where Sarkisov’s allegiances lie is seemingly obvious. Sarkisov allegedly believes the “first condition for a diplomat is patriotism and a willingness to serve the motherland selflessly.”
And so, amidst recent news that the Russian government is expected to provide Armenia with an additional export loan of $100 million for purchasing modern arms, my questions linger:
What is this Russian oligarch doing purportedly masquerading as an Armenian diplomat? And which motherland is Sarkisov referring to – his apparent newfound position as an Armenian Counsel General or to his lifelong home, Russia? Is he not just another oligarch exerting influence on behalf of the geopolitical puppet-master which is yet another indicator of systematic collusion?