The German government has refused to answer questions regarding an invite issued to the head of a controversial NGO, Lyudmyla Kozlovska.
Kozlovska was recently deported from Poland and banned from entering the Schengen visa after the Polish security services raised concerns her charity, Open Dialog Foundation, was being funded by ‘dirty money’.
Kozlovska is accused of receiving funds laundered by Kazakh oligarch, Mukhtar Ablyazov, who is wanted in five countries for fraud, contempt of court and murder. The security services also believe ODF have links to Russian arms dealers.
Her invitation to speak at the German Bundestag outraged the Polish government, who said in a statement: “Granting a short-stay visa to Lyudmyla Kozlovska was unjustified.”
““It is a pity, we would expect solidarity from the Germans with Poland and other countries, because if someone threatens the interest of a given country in the same EU zone, the Schengen area, then this should be honored by all countries.
“This is provocative behavior, it seems to me that this should be avoided at all costs in the future. We must, as Poland, take all diplomatic steps so that such situations do not happen, moreover, they have been taken”
We asked the ruling CDU party if they were aware of the Polish security services’ investigation into ODF before the invites were issued, to which we received no response.
The CDU also refused to say whether or not their Chancellor, Angela Merkel, was worried that inviting such a controversial figure might sour relationships between the two countries.
Our questions came off the back of a Polish TV report which claimed MPs invited her to speak because her testimony was in “Germany’s national interest”. No explanation was forthcoming as to what they meant by that remark.
Here is a copy of what we asked the CDU, in the interest of transparency. Maybe now they will take the opportunity to respond…
1. Were the CDU (& Mr Nick) aware of the Polish government’s investigation into ODF over their donors and links to Russian arms dealers before the invite was issued?
2. Does the CDU think it is appropriate to invite someone to speak at the Bundestag whose husband has called for the overthrow of the Polish government?
3. Is Angela Merkel concerned that inviting such a controversial figure might sour relationships between your country and Poland?
4. Poland’s TVP broadcaster claimed the visa was issued because Kozlovska’s presence at the Bundestag was in “Germany’s national interest”, can you tell us why that would be the case?
5. Does this invite mean the Schengen Information System is now redundant, if any member state can issue visas to whoever it wants, does that not defeat the point of the system?