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Allegations about Russian payments to representatives in the EU Parliament are to be investigated

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Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo reveals that representatives in the EU Parliament have been offered money to promote Russian propaganda. Now he announces an investigation. Photo: Geert Vanden Wijngaert / AP / NTB

Of NTB | 12.04.2024 13:23:22

Policy: Belgian prosecutors have opened a case related to what is referred to as Russian “interference” in the upcoming election. It happens after accusations that representatives have been offered payment to spread Russian propaganda, according to Prime Minister Alexander De Croo.

– Our legal authorities have now confirmed that this interference will be investigated, De Croo said on Friday. Belgium leads EU cooperation this six months.

– The payments did not take place in Belgium, but the impact did, he says.

Belgian intelligence services have been working closely with Czech authorities after a pro-Russian operation was uncovered there. De Croo said several members of the European Parliament have been contacted and offered money to promote Russian propaganda.

– Our intelligence services say that Moscow’s objective is very clear. It is about getting more Russian-friendly representatives elected to strengthen the Russian version of what is happening, said De Croo.

– This is serious, and that is why I have launched an investigation. We cannot allow this type of Russian threat in our midst. We must act at national level and at EU level.

The Belgian Prime Minister said nothing about who might be under investigation for having received funds, nor anything about the extent.

In December 2022, the Belgian authorities uncovered an influence case in the parliament, with ramifications to the authorities in Qatar. This has been categorically rejected by the regime in Doha.

The Prime Minister pointed out that the country’s intelligence service confirms the existence of a network that attempts to undermine support for Ukraine. It is supposed to be a Russian-friendly network that is active in several European countries.

The overall objective is obvious: Weakened support from the EU to Ukraine serves Russia’s interests on the battlefield. This is what has been uncovered during the last few weeks, the prime minister maintained.

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