On 17 December, the Parliament published a secret report by a parliamentary commission about the inquest into the “circumstances of the interference of the «Open dialog» foundation in the internal politics of Moldova”. In it, the foundation and its founder Lyudmila Kozlovska are accused of working in the interests of the Russian special services and oligarchs with a dubious past – while the Moldavian opposition are accused of being illegally funded by the foundation and of “diversionary activity” against Moldova. NM recounts the accusations and what they are based on. Among the sources that the Moldavian deputies trust – anonymous Kazakh bloggers and mass information media under the control of or loyal to the Demparty.
Where the commission was getting information for the inquest from
Into the makeup of the parliamentary committee, we shall recall, there entered four deputies from the parliamentary majority and two representatives of the Party of Socialists.
As is said in the report, published on 17 December on the parliament’s website, whileit was working, the commission “analyzed, from all sides, information from the public space” and requested information from the law-enforcement organs of Moldova — the Information and Security Service (SIS), the General Prosecutor’s Office, and others.
Representatives of the General Prosecutor’s Office and of the Prosecutor’s Office for Fighting Organized Crime and Special Cases refused to be present at the hearings in the commission, the report goes on to say.
Nor did leaders of the opposition parties Platforma “Demnitate şi Adevăr” [“Dignity and Truth” Platform] (DA) or Acțiune și Solidaritate[Action and Solidarity] (PAS), Andrei Năstase and Maia Sandu, attend the hearings. Of those invited to the commission for the hearings, the head of the StarNet company Alexandru Macedon likewise did not come.
We shall note, in the metadata of the file with the report, the last author of the report is specified as speaker Andrian Candu. He, however, was not a member of the commission.
What are the main accusations based on?
Funding of the foundation by Landromat and the “theft of the century”
The report says that information about the sources of the funding of the Open Dialogue foundation was furnished by the prosecutor’s office and the SIS. In the opinion of these agencies, besides other publicly declared sources, the foundation is being funded by the Russian ministry of defence and the sale of weapons in conflict zones, as well as with money from Landromat and a billion USD stolen from Moldavian banks.
Nevertheless, the report does not make it clear whether the Moldavian law enforcement organs conducted an inquest into this account.
The authors corroborate the information about the sources of the foundation’s funding with materials in the mass information media. Thus, in the report, with a reference to the Romanian investigative project RISE Project, it is said that the foundation was funded by Kozlovska through Landromat, “for example, through the Seabon Ltd company”. In the meantime, Kozlovska and her foundation is not even mentioned in the RISE investigation, and the Seabon Ltd company just once in passing.
The Moldavian deputies likewise make reference to an article on the Radio Polsha website, in which it is said that Open Dialogue is 80% funded “from Sevastopol, annexed by the RF”, by the brother of the foundation’s founder, Pyotr Kozlovsky.
In the meantime, the Radio Polsha website makes reference in its article to “analysts of the Rossiiskaya V colonna v Polshe [Russian fifth column in Poland] portal”. The portal appears as an anonymous page on Facebook, where the authors’ contacts are not indicated, while reports are published once every few months. The “report” about Kozlovska published there, to which Radio Polsha is making reference, is the work of Polish blogger Marcin Rej, who is in conflict with the Open Dialogue Foundation.
The Moldavian deputies name the sale of weapons from Poland to the Ukraine as yet another source of funding for Open Dialogue. For corroboration of this thesis, the authors of the report make reference to the Kazakhstani entertainment portal horde.me, to an article by an anonymous blogger with the screen name mary4. This blogger considers Kozlovska to be the culprit behind the “orange revolutions” in the regions.
Besides that, the report presents a large list of companies that participated in Landromat and were mentioned in the “theft of the century” investigation in Moldova. All of them were supposedly participating in funding Kozlovska’s foundation. Many of them supposedly have something to do with Veaceslav Platon, whose interests Kozlovska “services”. The report does not make clear where these data are taken from.
Lobbying the interests of persons with a dubious past
With reference to the entertainment website brussels-express.eu, the authors of the report write that “supposedly in the name of ‘human rights’, the ‘Open dialogue’ foundation is representing the interests of the richest fugitives, whom [their] native countries are seeking for money laundering”, and call this pressure on “the political opposition”. The author of the material on brussels-express.eu is a certain Jacobytes. The article was published a week before the creation in Moldova of the special commission on the “Kozlovska case”.
The authors of the report consider that one of the “fugitives”, whose interests Kozlovska and her foundation is supposedly servicing is the Kazakhstani entrepreneur and opposition politician Mukhtar Ablyazov, who is currently living in France. As evidence of this, the members of the commission cite an article from the Moldavian publication Timpul based on a Financial Times publication. We shall note, neither anyone connected with Open Dialogue nor the foundation itself are mentioned at all in the Financial Times. This addendum appeared only in the account in Timpul, which is loyal to the Demparty.
Kozlovska’s connection with Ablyazov is supposedly proven by another article as well, one published in the Romanian portal 7iasi.ro. However, in the part about Ablyazov, it too is based on the Financial Times material, the original of which makes no mention whatsoever of Kozlovska. This false adscript is made by the author of the Romanian portal.
Making reference to nameless “international press”, the authors of the document likewise note that Kozlovska was “lobbying” the interests of “her important clients, sentenced oligarchs”, on not just one occasion. The report says, among other things, that she had used fake news in order to hold them up as victims of political persecutions.
The authors of the report note more than once that the Open Dialogue Foundation began working in Moldova from the moment of the arrest of Veaceslav Platon in the year 2016. This fact, we shall note, Kozlovska herself does not hide. She asserts that she sees a multitude of violations of human rights in this case.
The members of the commission consider that Kozlovska’s foundation is “servicing” the interests of Platon and his family. As evidence, the report mentions that Kozlovska’s assistant had sent electronic airplane tickets in the names of members of Platon’s family to the email account [email protected]. On the source of this information, the authors of the report do not elaborate.
Connections with the Russian special services
The report speaks on numerous occasions of connections between Kozlovska’s foundation and Russian state companies and special services. In particular, the authors make reference to the words of Europarliament deputy Kosma Złotowski, who cast doubt on the appropriateness of the foundation’s and Kozlovska’s own accreditation in the Europarliament. “How right is it to consider as a ‘trusted person’ someone who received an RF passport in the year 2014 after the annexation of Crimea, while her foundation and sponsors are suspected of connections with the RF,” the report cites the Eurodeputy as saying.
We shall note, this citation is taken from a written question directed by
We shall note that this citation is taken from a written question directed by Złotowski to one of the commissions of the Europarliament. The Eurodeputy himself is a loyalist of Poland, where he belongs to the Prawo I Sprawiedliwość [Law and Justice] party, which is often criticised by Kozlovska’s foundation.
As the report says, “in the international press” they have more than once published investigations of Kozlovska and her foundation, which proved that she is a “covert agent of the special services of Russia”.
Asserting this, the members of the parliamentary commission make reference to the Ukrainian publication antikor.com.ua. The reasoning behind Kozlovska’s connections with Russia begins like this: “If one digs deeper, then it begins to make sense – from the outset of her activity, Kozlovska was caught in the well-oiled recruitment machine of the FSB of Russia by means of blackmail, kompromat, and pressure on the business of close people – in particular, on her brother the businessman Pyotr Kozlovsky”. In so doing, a large part of the material is based on the text of the aforementioned Polish blogger Marcin Rej.
Funding of opposition parties
The commission considers that the DA and the PAS were receiving illegal funding from the Open Dialogue Foundation. In particular, the foundation supposedly paid for trips beyond the border for their leaders Năstase and Sandu on numerous occasions. We shall note that Kozlovska herself has confirmed this.
As for the commission, it cites the publication Ziarul National, loyal to the Demparty,here. The information in it is once again based on the text of that same Polish blogger Marcin Rej, and on the material of the Moldavian Zeppelin portal. The latter had published screenshots of letters that mention getting air tickets from the foundation. How Zeppelin got these screenshots is unknown.
In the report it is likewise said that certain Moldavian “services”, together with certain “outside partners”, are already conducting an investigation. They clarified that in May of 2017, a company connected with Kozlovska’s foundation had transferred $2,000 to a company managed by a person close to the DA.
The report says that likewise participating in lobbying campaigns and meetings, including with respect to Platon’s case, were Jurnal TV, the head of the StarNet company Alexandr Macedon, Năstase, Sandu, Platon’s lawyers Ana Ursachi and Eduard Rudenco, the director of the Oral History Institute, the political scientist Alexei Tulbure, the journalist Natalia Morari, ex-deputy and editor of the omg.md portal Alexandr Petcov, and the activist Ştefan Gligor. All of them, we will notice, openly criticise the ruling Demparty and its supporters.
In the commission’s report, particular attention is devoted to reports about the situation in Moldova that Kozlovska’s foundation compiled. In particular, the members of the commission characterise the 2017 report “The captured state: persecutions of oppositioneers, journalists, and human rights advocates” as “extremely critical”, while calling Năstase and “the extremist-politician” Grigore Petrenco its main “protagonists”.
We note that, in its 2016 report, the US State Department called Grigore Petrenco, the former deputy of the Party of Communists and leader of the party Casa Noastră – Moldova [Our Home – Moldova], a “political prisoner”.
Undermining the security and image of Moldova, Ukraine and Poland
The authors of the report came to the conclusion that Kozlovska’s foundation had become “for the special services of Russia a tool for interference along the lines of soft power, which she [Russia] is using in a hybrid war” in Poland, Ukraine and Moldova. For this, the Moldavian deputies consider Kozlovska to be aspiring to destroy the image of these states at the international level.
In particular, they reported that the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has already begun an inquest against Kozlovska “for trampling the state unity of Ukraine” and “treason against the motherland”. However, the Moldavian deputies decided to get this information not from the SBU, but from the Polish press. The website thenews.pl, we shall note, makes reference to that same Polish blogger Marcin Rej.
The authors of the report note that the Ukrainian authorities also suspect Kozlovska of fraud in particularly large amounts as well. This also became known to them not from Ukrainian colleagues, but from information on the Moldavian portal Deschide loyal to the Demparty.
Kozlovska’s activity, in the opinion of the authors of the report, reflected on Moldova in an immediate manner: the report says that it is specifically Open Dialogue that is at fault for the deterioration of relations with European partners and the criticism of Moldova by EU structures.
The foundation’s “lobbying activity” in Europe, in the opinion of the authors of the report, became the only reason why Europe condemned the prosecution of human rights advocates and political activists in Moldova and are talking about abuses of Moldavian justice, pressure on the independent press and political persecutions.
As for Kozlovska, in the opinion of the authors of the report, she is at fault for the fact that in May of 2017, debates on the changing of the electoral system in Moldova were included on the Europarliament’s agenda, while in 2018, they froze macrofinancial aid to the republic. With her too, the members of the parliamentary commission are convinced, lies the blame for the Europarliament’s harsh resolution with respect to Moldova that Eurodeputies adopted on 14 November, 2018.