Baku. Photo by Urfan Hasanov on Unsplash

We have some questions about Azerbaijan

8 February, 2018

Tomorrow, Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s foreign affairs chief, will chair the EU–Azerbaijan Cooperation Council with the Azerbaijan Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov. The Azerbaijani Laundromat, which was revealed by the OCCRP last year, was a complex money-laundering operation using a slush fund that handled $2.9 billion between 2012 and 2014 through four shell companies. The money was used to pay off European politicians, buy luxury goods, move money, and launder the reputation of Azerbaijan abroad.

Following on from the Azerbaijani Laundromat we at Transparency International believe that it’s vital that Ms Mogherini keeps the issues revealed in the scandal at the top of the agenda.

That’s why we have the following questions for her ahead of tomorrow’s meeting:

  • The EU is the single biggest donor to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which is lending Azerbaijan $500m for the TANAP gas pipeline. What anti-corruption measures will the EU insist on to keep this money safe?
  • The European Investment Bank (EIB) is also considering $2bn of financing for TANAP. EIB shareholders are the 28 Member States of the EU. How will this $2bn stay safe from corruption?
  • Kalin Mitrev, Bulgaria representative to EBRD, allegedly received at least €425k through the Azerbaijani Laundromat. Has the EU asked the EBRD to investigate Mitrev?
  • What has happened with the  call for investigations into the Azerbaijani Laundromat since September?
  • What is the EU doing to prevent another Azerbaijani Laundromat?

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