Media Reports: HDZ Paid Ifo Institute with Donation from Russian Sources

By 12 July 2016

Another scandal hits HDZ two months before parliamentary elections.

HDZ’s economic programme, which was prepared for the party by German Ifo Institute, has been paid by a donation for Russian sources of unclear original, according to a report by Nacional weekly, published on July 12, 2016.

According to the report, former HDZ president Tomislav Karamarko has dragged the party into another scandal because, without the knowledge of most members of the party leadership, he allowed HDZ to receive millions in donations from Russian sources of unclear origin. The source of the money was masked by several foundations, and the final sum of 2.6 million kuna was spent to pay the Ifo Institute from Germany which made HDZ’s economic programme for parliamentary elections held in November 2015. HDZ paid for the programme through its own foundation.

The funds for the payment to the Ifo Institute came from a donation paid by the Foundation of New Generations, which is connected with companies Migrit Energy, Migrit Solar Energy, Titan Construction and Titan Property, which represent Russian capital and entrepreneur Oksana Dvinskykh, a close friend of Tomislav Karamarko and his wife.

Oksana Dvinskykh attracted public attention after it was discovered last year by the Finnish media that Croatian company Migrit Energy had purchased a 14 percent stake in the Finnish company Voimaosakeyhtio SF, to invest 158 ​​million euros in the construction of the Finnish nuclear plant Hanhikivi. The problem was that the authorities and ultimately the Finnish government stopped the operation due to the suspicion that the investment in the Finnish nuclear power plant through the Croatian company was a way to disguise the fact that this was actually Russian capital. It turned out that the Russian capital, through a company registered in Croatia, which is a member of the EU, tried to discreetly get into nuclear power sector in Finland, in order to circumvent EU sanctions.

The affair reached a new level when the Finnish media in July last year discovered that Oksana Dvvinskykh arrived in Helsinki together with Karamarko and his wife Ana Karamarko who worked through her Drimia agency for Migrit Energy. At the time, HDZ said to journalists that Ana and Tomislav Karamarko were on the same plane with Oksana Dvinskykh by accident, because then HDZ president was travelling to a business forum called “The Northern Light Summit”.