Belgium (Brussels Morning Newspaper) The corruption affair that has shaken the European Parliament, and the European institutions more broadly, since last December, is probably only in its infancy. In fact, many countries are quietly defending their agenda and their policy by raising awareness by all means of representatives of the European Union. This is the case of Armenia, against Azerbaijan, whose diaspora is extremely numerous in Europe and which has been spreading for decades a radical message against all those who would like to harm its interests.

Eva Kaïli, one of the vice presidents of Parliament, suspected of having received hundreds of thousands of euros in cash to exert influence, has been in prison since last December. but she is not suspected of having succumbed to the sirens of corruption only in recent files. Several years ago, the former Greek television presenter, according to private sources in Brussels, would have acted on behalf of other countries including Armenia and its powerful lobbying.

On November 19, a group of parliamentarians signed a declaration accusing Azerbaijan of having committed “an aggression against Armenia” and of having “violated the territorial integrity” of the latter. The 33 signatories, including Eva Kaïli, are members of the European Parliament’s friendship group with Armenia[1], closely linked to the largest pro-Armenian organization in Europe, EAFJD (Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy), and financed by the millionaire Kaspar Karampetyan, born in Greece and of Luxembourgish and Armenian dual nationality. 

The friendship group in Parliament is led by Loucas Fourlas, Cypriot MEP, and very close to Karampetyan[2], and his Twitter account is very active in this direction[3].

Recently Le Soir revealed that nearly 13% of MEPs accepted trips at the invitation of third parties, and among them it was groups associated with Morocco and Armenia who invited the most. Karampetyan was even present and pictured at a meeting with MEPs in 2018 in Armenia and Karabakh[4]. But the EAFJD also invited pro-Armenian Karabakh separatist representatives to Strasbourg and Brussels[5][6]. On November 10, 2021, the friendship group was relaunched in Brussels, under the leadership of Karampetyan. We even saw him in a photo on the official website of the EAFJD with MEPs, such as François-Xavier Bellamy, a fervent defender of Armenia[7]. Karampetyan thanked his great friend Loucas Fourlas on this occasion, also referring to the anniversary of “20 years of activism” with the European institutions[8].

Karampetyan chose Brussels for his business. He is well known in Belgium for his rather opaque business in the diamond business[9], in particular for his import and illegal certification of minerals from African conflict zones to Europe. According to other private sources, part of the millionaire’s resources was used to support the armed action of the Karabakh separatists, the very ones who had occupied the region since 1992, contrary to international law[10]. But also in favor of radical groups of the Armenian diaspora in Europe. We often talk about Russian ramifications and their interference in European or Western life in general, but less about Armenian influences, close in their functioning also through the alliance of Yerevan with Moscow, still active even since the war in Ukraine.

Kaspar Karampetyan, over 70, has been in this dark network for a long time. Accustomed to frequent meetings with the separatist leaders of Karabakh, collecting money for the regime of former President Bako Sahakyan until 2020, of what Armenians call Artsakh and which is not recognized by anyone in the world, not even Armenia. Close for a time to the Armenian terrorist organization ASALA, he had played a leading role in efforts to legitimize the occupation regime in European political parlors for years, and indeed in the European Parliament. In a gala evening in Brussels, he even boasted a few years ago of having raised 3..8 million euros to support Armenian separatism. He is known for having offered a number of representatives of institutions trips to Armenia and Karabakh to discredit Azerbaijan in particular.

Some are already talking about the upcoming “Kaspargate” when speaking of diamond smugglers lobbying European institutions. The Europe-Armenia Friendship Group and its relationship with this man will need to be further investigated soon. Let us also mention the case of the foreign affairs adviser of the S&D, the group of Socialists and Democrats of Parliament, Eldar Mamedov, pro-Iranian and pro-Armenian, who has just been reported by this group to the Belgian justice. He has been debated for a long time within the S&D and he was widely criticized for his suspicious pro-Armenian tropism[11].

Because once again, we can clearly see that the European Union is swimming in troubled waters and must urgently review all the rules that govern its relations with pressure groups and shadow lobbyists. It has been going on for years without real sanctions being applied to punish those responsibly. The opaque relations that unite the Europe-Armenia friendship group, and the individuals who lead it, such as the relations with the businessman Karampetyan are the new best example.

What does this new scandal reveal? That Europe is not infallible and that it must reform itself urgently. And precisely in the name of its ideals, it must set up a much stricter control in its relations with lobbying. Need we remind you that according to figures from the European Parliament itself, the impact of corruption on a European scale in all the Member States would still amount to 1,000 billion euros per year[12]? Much more than the million and a half found at the home of the suspects in the case How many friendship groups within institutions and whose funding and traceability seem very difficult?

It must be admitted: we can clearly see that the problem is not so much outside as inside the fruit because there are thousands of “associative” organizations, sympathy groups, and the like.. who gravitate around the European Parliament and who every day defend the interests of each other. It is therefore time for Brussels to regulate this phenomenon more.


[1] Ces groupes peuvent être financés par des lobbyistes ou des groupes étrangers en toute impunité, ce que semble reconnaître l’Union européenne :

[2] Toutes ses activités parlementaires n’allant toujours que dans un sens favorable à l’Arménie









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