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‘Dubious friends’ of Open Dialogue group: report

Open Dialogue, a controversial NGO being probed by Poland’s Internal Security Agency, “keeps some decidedly dubious friends,” a website has asserted.

The euanticorruption.com website said that the Poland-based Open Dialogue foundation has raised concerns and doubts at home and abroad over how it is financed.

The website noted that the foundation’s Ukrainian head, Lyudmyla Kozlovska, was expelled from Poland in the summer and that the authorities in Brussels were alerted through the Schengen Information System (SIS) “that she posed a danger to Polish national security, and therefore to the safety of the European Union as a whole.”

Stanisław Żaryn, a spokesman for Poland’s security services chief, said in a statement in August, that Kozlovska “has been banned from entering the territory of Poland and the EU.”

He also said at the time that there were “serious doubts” over the funding of Kozlovska’s Open Dialogue Foundation.

Żaryn said on Friday that Poland’s Internal Security Agency has opened an investigation into the activities of the Open Dialogue Foundation.

The investigation follows a fiscal inspection at the foundation and was started on the basis of a notification by the head of the National Revenue Administration, according to Żaryn.

MEPs from Latvia and Romania as well as three from Poland “have all tabled questions” about the foundation and how it is financed, euanticorruption.com reported.

The organisation’s accounts published on its website “make interesting reading,” the website also said.

It added that the group’s largest donor by far is Silk Road Biuro Analiz i Informacji, a company owned and run by Bartosz Kramek, who is Kozlovska’s husband and head of the Open Dialogue foundation’s board.

“In fact, if you take out revenue from Google Adwords, Silk Road provides an astonishing 95% of institutional donations,” euanticorruption.com said.

It added: “The couple, whose only known income comes from Silk Road, manage to make a further 80% of individual donations to their own NGO.”

With total donations of around USD 200,000 a year, “self-funding on this scale is quite an operation, especially as Silk Road’s returns show it has negligible turnover,” according to euanticorruption.com.

According to the website, the foundation’s “very rich friends” include Mukhtar Ablyazov, a Kazakh banker who it says is accused of embezzling more than USD 7 billion, “the biggest case of financial fraud in history.”

“For a human rights NGO, the ODF undoubtedly has some very rich friends,” euanticorruption.com commented.

It claimed that “many interesting companies” have also contributed funds to the Open Dialogue foundation. One example is “Majak,” a company owned by Ukrainian-Russian Petro Kozlovskiy, Lyudmyla Kozlovska’s brother. “This is a company which supplies resources to the Russian military in illegally-annexed Crimea,” euanticorruption.com said.

“Then there are two internet-only businesses, Igoria Trade, which runs a currency exchange site, and Banerco, a significant player in the world of off-shore casinos and bookmakers,” the website added.

“… for a think-tank dedicated to ‘the rule of law’ and ‘human rights,’ the Open Dialogue Foundation keeps some decidedly dubious friends,” euanticorruption.com concluded.

According to Poland’s wpolityce.pl website, the Open Dialogue Foundation “drew up a 16-point plan to overthrow the Polish government” in the summer of last year.


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