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Fotyga: Russian malign influence in European parties and societies must be stamped out

The ECR Group has strongly supported a European Parliament resolution today calling on member states to investigate elected officials and parties in Europe that may serve Kremlin interests, such as by promoting disunity among EU countries and undermining their democracies.

On the initiative of ECR MEP Anna Fotyga, who tabled the respective amendment, the Parliament also pointed out the danger of “Russlandversteher”, agents of Russian influence found in many mainstream parties.

“Including former heads of government and cabinet ministers – most notably Gerhard Schröder, have held well-paid positions in Kremlin-controlled energy companies”. Many politicians like Schröder would not have resigned, instead continuing to accept money from Russia in exchange for influence over European societies.

In her plenary speech, Ms Fotyga said: “While the Member States are primarily responsible for counterintelligence, it’s imperative to treat it with the utmost seriousness. [...] In times of Russian aggression at our doorstep, we must get rid of malign influences.”

The resolution was prompted by recent media reports that Latvian MEP Tatjana Ždanoka was an informant for the Russian secret service FSB. Nevertheless, Moscow’s support for separatist movements, such as the Catalan secessionists and regional government, and in particular the former regional president and current MEP Carles Puigdemont, are also referenced in the text.

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