One of the most scandalous events during Nikol Pashinyan's tenure was the appointment of Anna Hakobyan's hairdresser Sofya Navasardyan as Nikol Pashinyan's assistant in 2018, by the decision on September 6. The purpose of the appointment was to make it more convenient to take her to official trips where she had to take care of the Prime Minister's wife’s hair.
The then spokesman of the Prime Minister Arman Yeghoyan commented on this issue confirming that Sofya Navasardyan had been Anna Hakobyan's stylist and noted that Navasardyan had been and would continue doing the same job as before, now being an assistant to the Prime Minister. “Nothing has changed, she will just do the same job as an assistant,” the spokesman added.
Shortly after the uproar, the decision to appoint Sofya Navasardyan as the Prime Minister's assistant was removed from the government's official website, and her name disappeared from the employee team webpage. The problem is that the responsibilities of the Prime Minister's assistant do not include working as a stylist (hairdresser); therefore, Sofya Navasardyan's appointment for such a role was not legal.
The hype around Anna Hakobyan and Sofya Navasardyan was not limited to this. Afterwards, information was disclosed that Sofya Navasardyan had been travelling with Anna Hakobyan abroad to take care of her hair, for which, of course, a large amount of money was spent from the state budget.
On this and other issues, AntiFake.am sent a request to the Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister Eduard Aghajanyan asking for information on Sofya Navasardyan.
The request response and the accompanying documents revealed a number of surprises that we are presenting below.
The decision to appoint Sofya Navasardyan as the Prime Minister's assistant has vanished.
As we have already mentioned, the public learned about Sofya Navasardyan when she was appointed Prime Minister's assistant. However, there is nothing written in our request response about the appointment of Sofya Navasardyan as such.
Moreover, it turns out that Sofya Navasardyan has been holding a position as a protocol officer at the protocol division at the Office of Prime Minister's since July 4, 2018.
And, according to the request response, after the tumultuous events in September 20, 2018, Sofya Navasardyan was dismissed from her previous post by the decree of the Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister and appointed to another position as an advisor to the protocol division of the Office of the Prime Minister, coordinating separate functions in the structural units of the Office.
So, it remains unclear how the decision made on September 6, 2018, to appoint Navasardyan as Prime Minister's assistant disappeared, how Navasardyan can be appointed to another position on September 20, 2018, without quitting her previous post and where the explanations of the then spokesman of the Prime Minister Arman Yeghoyan about all of thesewere. This, at least, speaks about the illegal actions taking place within the Staff to the Prime Minister, and more clearly, about an official fraud, the "traces" of which the Staff tries to clear up to this day.
From the request response, we also found out that Sofya Navasardyan was dismissed from her post from July 10, 2019, having worked for one year at the Office of the Prime Minister.
One year of the hairdresser's dissipated life at the Office of the Prime Minister
We had requested information on Sofya Navasardyan's salary, monetary awards, trips and her travel expenses, overnight stays and meals.
Thus, Sofya Navasardyan’s official rate of pay per month was 314,165 AMD, i.e. Navasardyan's annual salary was 3,769,980 AMD.
In addition to her salary, Sofya Navasardyan received a monetary award in the amount of 1,285,986 AMD before quitting her job.
During her one year in office, Navasardyan went on business trips 13 times, and 5,499,209 AMD was allocated from the state budget for this reason.
Thus, within a year, Anna Hakobyan's hairdresser cost the state budget 10,555,175 AMD (more than
Sofya Navasardyan has been Anna Hakobyan's IRREPLACEABLE hairdresser even in foreign countries, and in some cases the Staff to the Prime Minister has ensured her presence at the expense of breaking the law.
As we have already mentioned, Sofya Navasardyan has been on a business trip 13 times during her one year in office. For six of those trips, she went on business trips a part of the government delegation by the Prime Minister's decree, and for the other seven - by the decrees of the Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister for various purposes or without purpose.
A study of the history of Sofya Navasardyan's business trips revealed that she had been on business trips abroad when Anna Hakobyan had also been abroad, surprisingly even when Anna Hakobyan was neither included in the government delegation nor accompanied the Prime Minister, but, for example, when she travelled abroad for My Step or City of Smile foundations.
So, by the RA Prime Minister's decrees, Sofya Navasardyan has been on business trips as part of the RA governmental delegation in the following cases:
- October 4-6, 2018, Republic of France (Paris) (allocated amount: 1, 217,511 AMD)
- October 20-21, 2018, Republic of Lebanon(Beirut) (allocated amount: 1,209,950 AMD)
- November 10-11, 2018, Republic of France (Paris) (allocated amount:145,675 AMD)
- From January 30 to February 1, 2019, the Federal Republic of Germany (Cologne and Berlin) (allocated amount:1,558,862 AMD)
- February 27-28, 2019, the Islamic Republic of Iran (Tehran) (allocated amount: 75,417 AMD)
- May 12, 2019, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (Luxembourg), May 13, 2019, the Kingdom of Belgium (Brussels), and May 14-16, 2019, the People's Republic of China (Beijing) (allocated amount: 278,835 AMD).
In all the above-mentioned cases, Anna Hakobyan has also been a part of the government delegation to these countries.
However, as already mentioned, besides being on business trips abroad as a part of the government delegation, Sofya Navasardyan had seven more business trips by the decrees of the Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister, and surprisingly, all of these trips coincided with Anna Hakobyan being abroad. Thus, by the decrees of the Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister, Sofya Navasardyan has gone on business trips to:
- July 23-25, 2018, Russian Federation (Moscow) (allocated amount: 267,224 AMD). The purpose of the trip: experience exchange.
In the same period, Anna Hakobyan was also in Moscow, Russian Federation, visited the State Tretyakov Gallery, met a number of Russian women from different career fields, launched the Women for Peace campaign, visited the Bolshoi Theater of Moscow to listen to the Gayane Ballet, gave an interview to Express Gazeta.
- September 19-22, 2018, Russian Federation (Saint Petersburg) (allocated amount: 398,982 AMD). The purpose of this business trip is not stated in the decree.
- From September 29 to October 3, 2018, Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur) (allocated amount: 523,184 AMD). The purpose of the trip is not mentioned again.
In the same period, Anna Hakobyan was in Kuala Lumpur as the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the City of Smile Charitable Foundation to participate in the World Cancer Leaders’ Summit, where she gave a keynote address.
- December 12-17, 2018, Swiss Confederation (Geneva) (allocated amount: 1,064,591 AMD). The purpose of the business trip was defined as "business necessity".
At the same time, Anna Hakobyan was in Geneva, Switzerland. In particular, her visit began on December 12 with a stop at St. Jacob's Church in Geneva, followed by a meeting in Geneva with more than a hundred representatives of the Armenian community.
- Sofya Navasardyan's business trip to the Russian Federation (Moscow) on November 11-13 deserves particular attention as the decree of the Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister about the trip was made 40 days after it. That is, the Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister Eduard Aghajanyan ordered on December 20, 2018, by the decree N1147-A to send Sofya Navasardyan to Russia (Moscow) on November 11-13, which is an official fraud and questions the legitimacy of Sofya Navasardyan's other business trip decrees. For this business trip, 312,196 AMD were allocated for her.
In the same period, Anna Hakobyan was in Moscow, where she participated in several official meetings at the Embassy of Armenia with the ladies of a number of ambassadors accredited in Russia and business representatives. In Moscow, Anna Hakobyan also visited actor and director Armen Dzhigarkhanyan.
- April 1-15, 2019, United States of America (Washington, DC, Boston, Los Angeles, Memphis, and New York) (allocated amount: 1,853,953 AMD). The purpose of the business trip was defined as "business necessity".
Anna Hakobyan was in the US in the same period. She met Armenian students studying at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, had community meetings in Boston, discussed cooperation issues with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, met the Armenian community of Los Angeles, visited the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and met the representatives of the Armenian community of New York.
- May 23-25, 2019, Republic of Kazakhstan (Almaty) (allocated amount:84,847 AMD). The purpose of the trip is not mentioned again.
Anna Hakobyan was also in Kazakhstan in the mentioned period and met the Armenian community of Almaty.
We also studied the business trips of the Armenian government delegations, in which Anna Hakobyan was not included. Surprisingly, when Anna Hakobyan was not in the delegation, Sofya Navasardyan was not as well.
In fact, based on the above-mentioned, we can definitely claim that, in all the cases, when Anna Hakobyan planned to travel abroad, Staff to the Prime Minister “organized” a business trip for Sofya Navasardyan writing the purpose of the business trip as “experience exchange” in one case, as “business necessity” in other cases, or without defining the purpose of the business trip at all and, in some cases, ensured the provision of Sofya Navasardyan’s services for Anna Hakobyan in various countries at the expense of the state budget and through gross violations of the law.
Therefore, it is clear that Sofya Navasardyan was initially hired as a member of the Staff to the Prime Minister to provide services to Anna Hakobyan personally.
In our request, we also asked to provide us with Sofya Navasardyan’s reports, which should be submitted after the business trip within the statutory timeframe. However, the Staff to Prime Minister did not provide us with any report, most likely because they contained information only on Anna Hakobyan's hairstyles, or Sofya Navasardyan did not present any of the reports, which again is a violation of the law.
Thus, Nikol Pashinyan and his family members, who accused the former authorities of spending the state budget on personal needs, continue the same vicious practice. However, this situation is much more unpleasant, as the state budget is currently used to provide the Prime Minister's wife, who has no status in the government, with an irreplaceable hairdresser and her services at the expense of giving her a high salary as a member of the Staff to Prime Minister, awarding her bonuses, organizing foreign trips, paying for her travel, overnight stays, and meals.
Armenian version of the article.
Russian version of the article.
By Astghik Matevosyan