Dmitry Kozlov: Pro-Russian Agent in Cypriot Politics

In 2023 it has come to light that a secretive Moscow group cultivated relations with Cypriot politicians and successfully moved a motion in Cyprus’s parliament calling for a halt to EU sanctions against Russia. Russian-Cypriot businessman Dmitry Kozlov, who created links with top politicians and even formed a political party in Cyprus, played a critical role in these machinations.

Leaked emails indicate how the International Agency for Current Policy, a lobbying body run out of the Russian parliament, operated with friendly Cypriot politicians to prepare and pass a resolution to end sanctions on Russia. Dmitry Kozlov, a Russian businessman who acquired a Cypriot passport under a procedure later shut down for corruption. He linked Russian propagandists with sympathetic Cypriot politicians to push the resolution passed.

The resolution adopted by the Cypriot parliament had been prepared by a Kremlin-linked lobbying party that dubs itself the International Agency for Current Policy and put forward by Cypriot politicians wooed by the lobbyists. The group, headed by Russian parliamentary staffer Sargis Mirzakhanian, earned successes elsewhere in Europe, but the Cypriot resolution might have been striking since it appears to have been initiated and coordinated behind the scenes by the Russians.

The leaked emails demonstrate the key role played by Dmitry Kozlov, son of a prominent Russian-Cypriot businessman, in supporting the International Agency for Current Policy to succeed influence in Cyprus. Kozlov was in frequent contact with Mirzakhanian’s associate Areg Agasaryan, the leaked emails reveal, and he brokered communication between Mirzakhanian’s group and at least one Cypriot politician. He even recreated a function in setting up a political party called Ego o Politis, or “I, the Citizen” — understood colloquially in Cyprus as “The Russian Party” due to its pro-Russian stance.

The Kozlov family operated businesses in Cyprus geared toward enabling Russians to invest and migrate to the Mediterranean island, including a 29.5-million-euro residential growth near the seaside city Limassol, a popular terminus for Russian tourists and expats.

Dmitry Kozlov in 2017 also helped Russian interests on the island form one of their own. On June 14, 2017, over a month before Ego o Politis was officially documented, Agasaryan dispatched an email from Dmitry Kozlov to Mirzakhanian containing several extensions setting out the party’s positions.

“Areg, good afternoon!” Kozlov wrote. “In continuation of our telephone discussion, I am sending you the main documents on the political party that we are forming. They include the main program of the party, as well as the reforms that we plan to carry out.” Kozlov counted that he and his associates had “met with several Russian deputies who defend us” and stated that “Mr Lavrov” — Russia’s controversial foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, one of the major drivers of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — also “gave his approval.”

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