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A Brussels NGO and a Kazakh oligarch in exile in the service of Russia?

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As the European Union spends billions and empties its stockpiles of armaments to help Ukraine in its war against Russia, an NGO, based a stone’s throw from the European Commission, is suspected by Kiev of being a horse of Troy from Moscow. Ukrainian authorities have opened an investigation. PAN is able to go further: Brussels is now at the centre of occult influence manoeuvres that could lead to a new “Kazakhgate”. A mind-blowing investigation in which we meet Pier Antonio Panzeri, the main actor of Qatargate and the Belgian MEP Maria Arena… writes Paul Ymepatraux in PAN.


Mukhtar Ablyazov and the Open Dialogue Foundation (ODF) are no strangers to Pan readers. On March 30, 2022, our newspaper devoted an article to the unconditional support that the Honorable Guy Verhofstadt had given them in the corridors of the European Parliament (“Guy Verhofstadt defends a sulphurous pro-Russian ASBL”, PAN, March 30, 2022). We wrote then: “In Warsaw, it is whispered, in well-informed circles, that the ODF would be a “cover” for the Russian intelligence services”.

Sixteen months later, things have barely moved in Brussels (from a political and judicial point of view, of course), but they have clearly progressed in … Kyiv. And Ukraine benefits from all the support of the EU, NATO and therefore Belgium, it will become difficult to continue to turn a blind eye. Even if our flat country is particularly good at this exercise.

An oligarch prosecuted for a colossal embezzlement

Mukhtar Ablyazov is not just anyone, however. This former Kazakh banker embezzled between 6 and 9 billion dollars while running the BTA bank in his country of origin. For these facts he was sentenced in Kazakhstan but also in the United Kingdom where real estate belonging to him was seized and large sums present in his bank accounts seized.

Based in France, he was the main player in a real political and judicial saga which saw Paris imprison him (with a view to extraditing him to Russia or Kazakhstan) several years before granting him refugee status. policy (in total disregard of the “Dublin system” which requires the refugee candidate to apply in the first safe country in which he arrives, in this case, for Ablyazov, the United Kingdom) then to open an investigation against him on counts of embezzlement and money laundering (again for the BTA case and ultimately to withdraw his refugee status on the grounds that he was not, as he claims, a political opponent of the regime Kazakh but a con man on the run. The decision has since been confirmed, and no appeal is possible. Ablyazov now finds himself in an unprecedented position: on the one hand, under judicial investigation, he is the subject of control measures which prohibit him from leaving French territory, but on the other hand, his refugee status being definitively refused, he cannot remain there. A real saga, we told you!

It was at this moment when he must be feeling very lonely that our man would have been informed that the Ukrainian authorities had opened another investigation against him, this time for having “helped Russia” in its war against Kiev. He announced it himself on his Facebook page on July 6.

Incidentally, he tells us that the ODF and its director, Lyudmila Kozlovskaya (a Belgian resident), are the subject of the same investigation. The ODF, it should be remembered, has devoted considerable energy for years to the defense of Ablyazov, a victim, according to it, of unjust political persecution.

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On Facebook, therefore, Ablyazov is unleashed and affirms that he has never supported Moscow, that neither the ODF nor Mrs. Kozlovskaya are “agents of the Kremlin” and that he has, moreover, nothing to to do with the operation of this association that some have accused him of (longtime) secretly financing.

Still, we are able to bring new elements to the file.

The boss of the ODF and one of her collaborators reported to the Council of Europe

At the service of Moscow?

A favorable wind sent us a letter sent on October 26 by Mariia Mezentseva, President of the Ukrainian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to the Secretary General of this institution above all suspicion . The Ukrainian parliamentarian accuses in black and white Lyudmila Kozlovskaya of being the subject of an investigation for “treason and financing of terrorism” in Kiev and implies rather heavily that she could “work for the Russian special services” and be involved in money laundering activities (probably as part of these pro-Russian activities).

She recalls in passing that Mrs. Kozlovskaya’s brother (who would also be one of the ODF’s financiers) owns a “Mayak” company, based in Crimea (illegally occupied by Russia since 2014) and that Mayak would be a supplier to the Russian Navy in Sevastopol. Finally, she asks that the General Secretariat of PACE inform the French authorities of these facts.

A week later, on October 31, it was the chairman of the group of European Conservatives and the Democratic Alliance in PACE (ECDA), Ian Liddel-Grainger who accused the director of the ODF of inappropriate behaviour (in harassment of MPs) and “repeated breaches of security and rules of procedure”. This letter is also in our possession.

In short, contrary to what Ablyazov claims, the investigations and suspicions involving Lyudmila Kozlovskaya and the ODF are not so recent. Of course, charges and even an investigation are no guarantee of the guilt of those they target, but perhaps it’s time to shed some light on an increasingly murky affair.

In view of the above, one would think that it would be of the utmost interest for an official investigation to determine whether or not the ODF and its president are linked to Russia. It is, all the same, the credibility of the European capital which is also the headquarters of NATO. Perhaps, this time, PAN will be heard? We can always dream…

Stay connected. To be continued shortly…

Paul Ymepatraux

Editor’s note: With the exception of Mukhtar Ablyazov, convicted on several occasions, and Pier-Antonio Panzeri, in confessions of corruption, all the persons cited in this investigation are currently presumed innocent

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