Infiltration of Russian intelligence agents into the European Parliament

On January 27, the Communist Party of Cyprus-AKEL announced its candidates for the European elections. The party is known for its old ties to the Kremlin.

According to the party’s statement, «AKEL enters the fray in the European elections with positions and proposals on all small and big European issues and a strong ballot with six candidates ready to work and fight for the vision, values, and policies needed by the people of Cyprus and the people of Europe.»

Given that the «vision, values, and policies needed by the people of Cyprus and the people of Europe» for AKEL are formulated and defined in Moscow, the presence of its representatives in the European Parliament is worrisome. AKEL has always been an agent of Moscow’s interests and the mouthpiece of its false propaganda in Cyprus.

Of the six candidates presented by the communists, each worthy of a separate investigation into his or her ties to Russia, the number two on the list Theologou stands out.

Anna Theologou was elected to parliament in the 2016 elections as a member of the Civic Alliance party. In 2018, she left the Citizens’ Alliance to become an independent MP.

Almost immediately afterward, MP Theologou became the object of persistent «courting» by the «Russian party» EOP, created in 2017 by natives of the former Soviet Union with Cypriot citizenship, or more precisely, by the special services of Russia. For several years this fake party has simulated political activity and served Russian interests. A CDN investigation revealed that EOP is a project of the Russian secret services, created to install their agents in the Cypriot parliament. Later, the same was confirmed by an OCCRP investigation.

After the publication of revealing articles and the scandal that followed, the EOP party ceased to exist in 2021.

EOP tried with all its might to get into parliament even before the 2021 elections. Anna Theologou’s withdrawal from the Civic Alliance gave them such an opportunity.

According to the laws of the Republic of Cyprus, if any incumbent MP joins a party that is not represented in the legislature, it automatically becomes a parliamentary party. Therefore, the leaders of the EOP party already at the end of 2017 began to actively inquire about deputies who could be poached to their side. The idea of «re-enlistment» was generally a good one. Its essence was that without participating in direct elections, it was possible to get into the legislature.

The EOP’s negotiations with Cypriot MP Anna Theologougou began in 2018. According to Alexei Voloboev, one of the founding fathers of the party, representatives of the Russian Embassy took part in the negotiations.

It did not take long to convince her, she almost immediately agreed to become a member of the «Russian» party. But the transition was delayed by a legal battle brought by Civic Alliance leader Lillikasos in an attempt to keep the parliamentary seat held by Theologou for his party.

In the same period, Cypriot Russian-language resources published several laudatory articles about Anna Theologougou. As one pro-Kremlin website wrote: «We are incredibly pleased that there are still some really sensible and non-corrupt MPs like Anna Theologougou in the Cypriot Parliament. In general Bravo, you are very cool and independent!»

She earned this panegyric from pro-Russian propagandists for an angry letter sent to the British Foreign Secretary, where she harshly criticized the attack on Syria from the Akrotiri military base in Cyprus. Anna accused the United Kingdom of joining America and France in bombing Syria «without waiting for an official report from the committee that investigated information about the use of chemical weapons in Syria.» A familiar narrative of Kremlin propaganda and disinformation. Theologoulogou’s involvement in its circulation leaves no doubt about her political orientation.

Without waiting for Anna Theologou to officially join the EOP, Alexei Voloboev and the then-president of the party, Yorgos Kountouris, took her to Moscow and presented her to their superiors as proof of their successful work in recruiting a member of parliament from an EU member state.

According to Voloboyev, he, along with Anna Theologou, met with Vyacheslav Volodin, chairman of the Russian parliament, Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the State Duma’s foreign affairs committee, and several senior functionaries of Putin’s United Russia party. During this trip, Anna Theologou had her picture taken with Putin and was very proud of it. In private conversations she called him «the only politician of our time who has balls» (she said nothing about brains and morals)

She already traveled to the next Moscow forum in July 2019 without Russian «politicians».

The dates for the official announcement of Theologou’s transfer to the EOP were planned and postponed: something kept interfering. As we were told by informed sources, the leadership of other parliamentary parties of Cyprus became aware of the attempts of Russians to lure Anna Theologou to their party, which caused them an extremely disapproving reaction. As a result, the EOP figures were made to understand that as long as they play by the rules, nobody touches them and they can quietly go about their business. But as soon as Anna Theologou becomes a member of their party, they will be treated as political opponents.

The publication of Khmelnitsky and Demash’s investigation in the Cyprus Daily News, about the activities of the EOP, finally derailed Anna Theologou’s move to the EOP and the transformation of the «Russian party» from a marginal to a parliamentary party.

However, according to Voloboyev, Theologou remains a pro-Russian politician by his convictions and will continue to support Russia. Voloboev has also repeatedly stated that her political career is completely dependent on Moscow and she will join AKEL sooner or later.

Another curious detail. In 2021, Anna Theologoulogou announced that she would run in the upcoming parliamentary elections in alliance with the «Movement of the United Cypriot Hunters» party. At the time, she was the head of the public organization «Movement of Independents». Two months later, Anna Theologougou announced the collapse of her pre-election coalition with the hunters.

On January 5 of this year, the chairman of the Coordinating Council of Russian Compatriots (CCRC) a division of the Russian special services, Dmitry Apraksin, announced that he would run for the European Parliament from the party «Active Citizens-Movement of United Cypriot Hunters». Russian special services actively use marginalized parties of various political orientations for their purposes. The example of the «hunters» is more than illustrative.

The Russian security services consider the introduction of their agents of influence into the European Parliament and other European institutions as one of their priority tasks. The recent story with the exposure of Latvian MEP Tatiana Zhdanok, who worked for the FSB for many years, serves as a confirmation of this.

Anna Theologou’s political biography indicates an obvious connection with the Russian security services, which raises the suspicion that it is not by chance that she was included in the list of Communist candidates under the second, passing number. It is very possible that her candidacy from the Communist Party, as well as other candidates, was approved at the meeting of AKEL leader Stefanou Stefanos with FSB General Zyazikov acting on the territory of Cyprus under diplomatic cover, masquerading as an ambassador of the aggressor country.

In the upcoming elections to the European Parliament in June, Russian security services will try to introduce the maximum number of their agents. The Cypriot Communist candidates, together with Anna Theologou, can be safely considered among them.