Konstantakopoulos has close ties to the leadership ranks of the
Syriza party. He provided assistance as part of a committee charged with
drafting the party program. The journalist spent years as a correspondent in
Moscow and serves as something like a link between the party and its contacts
in Moscow. Moreover, he is an important Syriza ideologue. The newspaper Avgi,
which has close ties to the party, publishes his essays
In addition, Konstantakopoulos had been informed in October 2014
that Kammenos, now the defense minister, would stay in Moscow on account of the
wedding mentioned above. This is also revealed in an email that Konstantakopoulos
sent to Gavrish. Shortly before the celebration, Konstantakopoulos writes,
Kammenos appeared "full of excitement" in Syriza circles and asked for "a
tactical collaboration." The Syriza leadership, Konstantakopoulos reported to
Gavrish, had given some thought to what should be done with "the small one." It
is unclear whether Kammenos really did try to establish these contacts.
However, after the Greek election, it emerged that the Syriza party leadership
would involve itself in this kind of coalition.
Konstantakopoulos and Dugin know each other personally. They met
during a trip that Dugin took to Greece in April 2013, when they interviewed
each other. Dugin explained his geopolitical views to
the Greek and said that Greece "can choose between
Land Power (Eurasia) and Sea Power (the USA, UK and NATO)." In the end, he
added, it is up to the Greek people to make this choice.
Dugin, in turn, presented Konstantakopoulos in an English-language video conversation. In it, Konstantakopoulos complains that Greece is a colony that is being destroyed by the international financial institutions and mentions the possibility of a strategic alliance with Russia.
A Greek Dugin fan
The name of another Greek intellectual appears repeatedly in the
emails as both a sender and recipient: Nikos Laos. It is difficult to fathom
his exact function and attitude. Laos, who holds a doctorate in theology, has
published a number of books, including ones on the offshoots of the Illuminati
in Greece and the excesses of political economy. But Laos is also a partner at R-Techno,
a Russian private-security firm. Its founder, Roman
Romachev, worked for the Russia domestic intelligence agency FSB between 1997 and
2002, where he was in charge of counterintelligence.
On the basis of the emails, one can say with relative certitude
that Laos is an ardent admirer of Dugin and tried to make contact with him. At
first, he communicated with Dugin via Gavrish. "We live in a very complicated
world in which there are no longer any clear-cut national policies. Instead,
there are networks that operate both within countries and outside their
borders," Gavrish writes in a message to Dugin, quoting Laos. Dugin answered
that Laos was "very correct" and said that he was also willing to meet with
Laos. Whether that ever happened remains unclear. In any case, Laos wrote to
Dugin via Gavrish in 2013: "I am trying through diplomatic channels to apply
many of your ideas for a healthy and creative change in Greek policies." In
this way, he continued, Greece should become part of a "Eurasian alliance under
the leadership of President Putin."
Based on the email exchanges, one can only determine to a
limited degree just how much influence Laos has on the Greek public and on
Syriza. In June 2014, he wrote to Gavrish that his "acquaintances" in the
Syriza party had asked him to analyze which internal currents in the Syriza
movement were leaning toward social democracy. In an attached article, Laos
warned about individual party members who supposedly presented a danger through
their "social democratic provocations" and who threatened to divide the movement
with a stance that was too friendly toward America.
In any case, Laos’ statements provide insight into the world of ideas in which Russian Orthodox and Greek Orthodox ideologies evidently intersect. For example, in July 2014, he wrote directly to Dugin, reporting that he intended to found an Orthodox, Eurasian order of knights and asking Dugin to be one of its patrons. "Through this public and honorific organization, we can assist the Eurasian Noomachy through very effective channels and networks," he wrote, using a term denoting a war of ideas. "I know very well how the enemy works, and, under Your Patronage, I can strike back effectively and hard." Dugin’s terse response was: "Got it."
Academic ties to the foreign minister
However, a completely different personal connection may be much
more important to Dugin than the one he has to Laos: that to Nikos Kotzias, the
Syriza member currently serving as Greece’s foreign minister. In the spring of
2013, Dugin delivered a lecture at the University of Piraeus, where Kotzias was
teaching at the time.
There have already been reports on
that lecture. But what is less well known is that, while still a professor
at the University of Piraeus, Kotzias commissioned several studies that were
supposed to investigate the Greek population’s stance toward Russia. From the
hacked emails, it emerges that Kotzias personally passed on the results of
these studies to Gavrish in June 2013. Among other things, the opinion
pollsters explored the question: "Which country is the friendliest to Greece?"
The results from 2012 found that almost 40 percent of respondents believed that
Russia was the best friend of the Greeks. France was in second place, with 24
percent. Conversely, only a bit more than 1 percent of the surveyed Greeks
claimed to view Germany as a friend.
"For Greeks," Kotzias concludes, "Russia is a potential military
and economic ally that they respect and appear to know relatively well." In
recent times, he adds, many Greeks have been let down by their traditional
allies and have consequently turned toward Russia.
A spokesman for the Greek Foreign Ministry told ZEIT ONLINE on Saturday
that Kotzias denies being in contact with Dugin. In any case, the trove of
leaked emails also includes a group photograph, apparently taken in
Greece, showing Kotzias with Dugin and other individuals.
In recent days, the Greek government has been making an effort to refute allegations that it wants to step out of the ranks of the Europeans and turn to Russia. But, to the same degree, questions are arising about the impact of the following facts: that Greece’s foreign minister cultivates (pseudo)-academic relations with the neo-Eurasian Dugin, and that the defense minister evidently has close ties with a Russian oligarch, who in turn is associated with Dugin. In any case, one would presume that attempts by Russian ideologues to win over Europe’s politicians and to play them against each other comes in rather handy to President Putin and his government.
With assistance from: Christo Grozev, Sebastian Mondial, Steffen Dobbert and Karsten Polke-Majewski