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Russiagate hits German far right – POLITICO

Russiagate hits German far right – POLITICO

by host

The AfD is just one of several parties in Europe with pro-Russian views. Others include Hungary’s Fidesz, France’s National Rally, Italy’s Lega and Slovakia’s Smer.

In the run-up to the EU-wide election in June, Russia is ramping up its attempts to sway EU opinion and, where possible, infiltrate the bloc’s institutions. A Serbian national linked to Russia’s FSB intelligence agency visited the European Parliament last October as part of such efforts, according to a Western intelligence briefing seen by POLITICO.

EU sanctions in the works

Following Czechia’s move to sanction Voice of Europe, EU politicians are working on the idea of an EU-wide sanction against the group — possibly as part of a 14th EU sanctions package against Russia, Lipavský said, adding a Czech proposal would be “accompanied by the file which give[s] evidence.”

In the past two years the bloc has also imposed sanctions on Kremlin-backed organizations behind disinformation campaigns like InfoRos, the Institute of the Russian Diaspora and the ANO Dialog nonprofit. | Alexis Haulot /EP

While several EU diplomats said they were in favor of sanctioning Voice of Europe, a formal proposal to do so has not yet been submitted to national representations. Any capital can propose national sanctions be extended at the EU-level, but proceedings are not public. Issuing an EU-wide sanction can take anywhere from two weeks in some exceptional cases to several months.

“In this cyber war with Russia, we need to act as one,” Dita Charanzová, EU parliament vice president for cybersecurity. “It’s clearly a bad signal if one Member State sanctions an organization for disinformation and we as the EU are not able to follow up.”

Peter Stano, spokesperson for the European External Action Service, which drafts EU-wide sanctions at member states’ requests, said such processes are “confidential and not for us to comment or pre-empt publicly.”

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