New Boss Appointed to State Taxation Service

Yerkir-Media (am) reports, that Serge Sargsyan yesterday has presented the new head of State Taxation Service Vahram Barseghyan to his staff, and while thanking the old head Felix Tsolakyan for his efficient work over the past 4 years, which has resulted in more then doubling the volume of state tax revenues has noted, that the new head – Vahram Barseghyan will bring in new approaches, which are necessary to further increase the efficiency of the service.
Strangely enough all of this sounds to me more like Serge Sargsyan bringing in his men on key positions instead of Andranik Margaryan’s people, then an attempt to really increase Tax incomes of the state and fight the shadow economy. It is no secret, that if Serge Sargsyan wants to become president next year, he needs to ensure full support of the Oligarchs, and as the common perception is that these guys are the ones avoiding taxes more often then anybody else, we can see the hidden warning for all of them, including Gagik Tsarukyan, the head of the second largest Parliamentary Faction – “Prosperous Armenia” party. I hope all this disguised war of both political and economic interests doesn’t lead to more high-profile killings of state officials in the end – although we’re kinda growing accustomed to it recently.

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant


  1. Well, I always considered Vahram Barseghyan to be Kocharian’s man, but anyway. Nevertheless, any changes in the government structure can probably be considered as related to the coming presidential election. Well, actually, probably everything that happens between now and next year can.
    Regarding the oligarchs, I’m not sure it exactly matters. I mean, they have a choice right? Kocharian’s man or someone from the opposition. I can’t see that they’ll ever go for any candidate from the latter so I don’t think Serzh would have anything to worry about, I mean, its not as if his friends or relatives as well as himself don’t have business interests either.
    Anyway, I think the main issues for this coming election are a little simpler. Serzh is going to be president unless the opposition come up with one hell of a good candidate most of them can rally around. Secondly, the issue of whether Kocharian really does want Serzh to take over will probably determine the election’s outcome.
    I’m still amazed that Prosperous Armenia and Tsarukian did so poorly compared to Serzh and the Republicans in the parliamentary election and let them get away with it. Anyway, re. the tax service thing, however, RFE.RL has more on Tsolakian’s dismissal here.
    Regarding Barseghian, Ara Manoogian over at Martuni or Bust has been on his case for a long, long time.

  2. Onnik – I have to admit I didn’t know Vahram was Kocharian’s man: didn’t do proper research either. Later Reporter_Arm told me about it, but I decided to leave the phrase “Serge Sargsyan bringing in his men”, because I’m not just talking about this appointment, but all the appointments in general, and also to stimulate comments from those who know better 😉

  3. Well, like I said, I would also look upon anything happens from now until the presidential election being linked. How is anybody’s guess and I daresay there will be a few surprises in there for all of us. There will also be some red herrings thrown in for good measure and events designed to confuse and mislead.
    Well, that’s half the fun of elections in the post-Soviet space, isn’t it? 😉

  4. Hello everybody the upcoming election in Archak is going to be interesting . Will see how the international community will react, even when they don’t recognize. Anyway I always read a lot about how similarity that some people think there is between Nagorno Karabag and Kosovo ? Which I don’t fined, just read this serial articles about the current situation in Kosovo from the biggest daily news paper in Sweden and you know what I mean ! The publication is available on line I attach the link below . It is a four part !

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