In recent months, the world media have published one after another corruption scandals of European parliamentarians. At the end of last year, Brussels was shocked by the corruption scandal of the Vice President of the European Parliament, Eva Kaili, and five other people detained on charges of involvement in bribery and “an attempt to influence the decisions of the European Parliament with the help of significant sums of money and gifts” by Qatar – the organizer of the World Cup – 2022.
And in early February 2023, new facts of bribing MEPs to recognize the annexation of Crimea by Russia and petitions to lift anti-Russian sanctions became known.
A detailed analysis of both scandals leads to a single center of “cooperation”.
Thus, the case of the Greek politician Eva Kaili brought to light a certain Kaspar Karampetyan (Greek-Armenian by origin), who in his “European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy” gathered parliamentarians. All of Karampetyan’s “friends” are involved in various corruption schemes. It should be noted that earlier the head of the “group of friendship with Armenia” in the European Parliament was Eleni Theoharaus. Representing the Greek part of Cyprus in the European Parliament, Theocharus is known in her country for dubious activities – one of the accusations made by her competitors during the election campaigns held in Cyprus is related to the lack of transparency in the sources of funding for her political party. Eleni Theocharus, who was a member of the “People’s Party” faction in the European Parliament, is known for her image as “
Another scandal that tarnished the reputation of MEPs appeared after hackers leaked the emails of Sargis Mirzakhanyan, an employee of the State Duma of Russia, to the Internet and brought to light a scheme according to which an Armenian PR man persuaded MEPs to support the annexation of Crimea. According to Important Stories, which together with Eesti Ekspress, OCCRP, IRPI and Profil analyzed Mirzakhanyan’s letters that got into the network, it turned out that interaction with deputies of the parliaments of several EU countries meant paying for their participation in patriotic forums in Yalta and in monitoring Russian elections. in Crimea after the annexation. Tens of thousands of euros were also allocated for the introduction of pro-Russian resolutions in European parliaments, providing, in particular, for the lifting of sanctions against Russia,
Mirzakhanyan attracted not only his Armenian acquaintances, but even his own mother into his corruption network. So, at the beginning of 2017, Hemingway Partners LLC was established – it belonged to Satenik Markaryan, Mirzakhanyan’s mother. The company’s presentations colorfully described Mirzakhanyan’s completed projects and his impressive opportunities: all types of promotion – primarily in the media, but by no means only in them. From rallies to elections, from “leveling information threats and conducting counter-campaigns” to “creating a strategy for direct access to decision makers.”
Mirzakhanian’s corruption scheme was first promoted in Italy. The Council of the Italian region of Veneto became the first European political institution to openly recognize Crimea as part of Russia, and also called for the lifting of sanctions. Following Veneto, two more Italian regions, Liguria and Lombardy, adopted similar pro-Russian resolutions. Mirzakhanyan was not going to stop there. Already in June 2016, he wrote a letter to a colleague with a strange text: “This bug also sent me a price tag for the vote. The rest, as you see fit, but preferably as much as possible. What this means and who is at stake is not clear from the correspondence, but the letter is accompanied by a new “plan of action” entitled “Resolutions in Austria and Italy”. It follows from it that the resolution adopted in Veneto will have to go higher, already to the state level, to the Italian parliament. At the end of the document, in the “Estimate” section, it says: “EUR 20,000 + EUR 20,000 (deposit), in case of successful voting + EUR 15,000 in each case.”
A few days later, the draft resolution was indeed submitted to the Italian Parliament, but the Senate rejected it.
The same document contains an estimate for submitting a similar resolution to the Austrian parliament: “20,000 EUR, in case of a successful vote +15,000 EUR.” The executor is MP Johannes Hübner of the Austrian Freedom Party, another nationalist party. In the same June 2016, Huebner did introduce such a resolution, but, as in Italy, it did not find the support of the majority of deputies.
There are other similar “action plans” in Mirzakhanyan’s mail, in particular for Latvia, Greece and even for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
But Mirzakhanyan’s team achieved the greatest success in Cyprus, where his assistant, also an Armenian Areg Aghasaryan, worked hard. There were donations of tens of thousands of dollars to the Progressive Party of the Workers of Cyprus. It was at the suggestion of Aghasaryan that the long-term general secretary of this party, Andros Kyprianou, submitted a draft pro-Russian resolution to the Cypriot parliament, which, unlike Italy and Austria, voted for its adoption. This resolution differed from the Italian and Austrian drafts in two additional requirements: the lifting of personal sanctions against individual Russians, as well as the requirement to comply with the Minsk agreements between Russia and Ukraine.
After analyzing these corruption facts, a single axis emerges in the activities of both Kaspar Karampetyan and Sargis Mirzakhanyan with his accomplice Areg Aghasaryan – cooperation with marginal, ultra-right parties of European countries, promotion of ideas that are fundamentally contrary to the policies of European countries.
This scheme has been used against Azerbaijan for many years. For example, it was at the suggestion of this network that members of the far-right radical party Alternative for Germany (Alternative für Deutschland, AfD), whose members are known for their enthusiasm for using Nazi and anti-Semitic slogans, illegally visited the territory of Karabakh.
However, this activity of both Armenian political PR people and Armenia itself corresponds to the general idea of Armenians – after all, still Garegin Ter-Harutyunyan, or as Nzhdeh is called, who was an accomplice of the Nazis during the Second World War, is revered in Armenia as a hero, and the country’s leadership is not resists.
In view of all these scandals, the countries of Europe in general, and the leadership of the European Parliament in particular, should think about a future in which there should be no place for Nazism, corruption and all other negative aspects that contradict the fundamental values of Europe.