Former Director of the National Security Service, former National Assembly deputy David Shahnazaryan has recently criticized the activities of the Open Society Foundations-Armenia office.
On December 20, during a program on 168.am, referring to the activities of the Open Society Foundations or the Soros Foundation, Shahnazaryan stated that the activities of the office are directed against the Armenian statehood.
In the same interview, Shahnazaryan claimed that the head of the Soros office in Armenia had publicly stated that they had assisted and supported the revolution that took place in April 2018. That is, he admitted that they had directly interfered with our internal political problems” Shahnazaryan said.
It is not the first time Shahnazaryan is making this statement. In an interview with Sputnik Armenia Radio in August of this year, the former NSS director claimed that the head of the OSF office had stated that they actively supported and assisted the revolution.
Davit Shahnazaryan’s connection with Open Society Foundations
It is noteworthy that although the former director of the National Security Service actively criticizes the activities of the OSF Armenia office, he is also a beneficiary of that organization.
Thus, according to the Regional Studies Center website, Shahnazaryan is a senior analyst at the Center.
Although the Strategic Partners and Donors section of the organization’s website is blank, a financial report for 2014 is provided. According to the report, in 2014 this organization received funding of 10,372,500 AMD from Open Society Foundations.
Moreover, in June 2019 the Regional Studies Center was among the organizations that signed a statement condemning the encroachment on the activities of the Open Society Foundations-Armenia. “The dissemination of distorted and false information, assumptions and assessments based on them is a futile attempt to undermine the role and importance of civil society in shaping human rights protection, accountability and transparency with the support of the Open Society Foundations-Armenia Foundation” says the statement.
In fact, being a member of an organization that also received a grant from the Soros office, Shahnazaryan, is himself a “Sorosakan” (a Soros office affiliate) and, as he says, “acts against statehood”.
Open Society Foundations and the Velvet Revolution
As to Shahnazaryan’s claim that the head of the Open Society Foundations has admitted that they have supported the revolution, it is not true.
Larisa Minasyan, Head of Open Society Foundations, has repeatedly denied rumors that the foundation has supported or had any connection to the revolution that took place in Armenia in April-May 2018. Last year Minasyan announced: “The revolution was carried out by the people, and the people were so unequivocally in favor of these changes that no rational person could fail to see it. Trying to see Soros here, some people act against obvious realities. It is not possible to tell hundreds of thousands of people that they have risen because George Soros has told them to rise.”
In fact, Shahnazaryan attributes words to Minasyan, which the latter did not say. Moreover, the head of the OSF office has stated the exact opposite.