May 24, 2024

Brighton Journal

Complete News World

Belgium is investigating Russian interference in the European Union elections

Belgium is investigating Russian interference in the European Union elections

Image source, Frederic Florin/AFP

Comment on the photo, European Parliament elections take place from 6 to 9 June in 27 different EU member states

Less than two months before European voters in 27 countries take part in EU Parliament elections, Belgium says it is investigating pro-Russian networks trying to influence the vote.

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said Moscow's goal is to bring more pro-Russian candidates to the European Parliament.

He added, “Weak support for Ukraine serves Russia on the battlefield.”

The Czech government recently said it had dismantled a pro-Kremlin network.

Intelligence agencies in Prague and Poland said the Voice of Europe news site was funded by Moscow to spread propaganda and funnel money to sympathetic European politicians. The site did not respond to these allegations.

Referring to what the Czech Republic revealed, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said that Belgian intelligence had confirmed that spy networks were operating in Belgium and several other European countries.

He added: “The investigation shows that Moscow communicated with members of the European Parliament. [and] “I also paid money to members of the European Parliament in order to promote the Russian agenda here,” the Belgian Prime Minister said.

He added that the Belgian authorities had begun a prosecution, but did not mention the names of anyone suspected of receiving money. He explained that no cash payments were made in Belgium itself despite the continued pro-Russian intervention.

Earlier this week, Petr Bystrun, the candidate of the far-right Alternative for Germany party, “strongly” denied allegations published in Czech media that he had received Russian money.

The Belgian president said that Moscow's goal is to bring more pro-Russian candidates to the European Parliament, adding that he had been in contact with his Czech counterpart and the presidents of the European Commission and the European Parliament.

“We cannot allow this kind of Russian threat in our midst,” he said, stressing that his country bears the responsibility of ensuring a free and safe vote during the European Parliament elections.

The Belgian capital, Brussels, is home to the European Union's executive branch, the European Commission, and one of the houses of Parliament.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala warned that the actions of the pro-Russian network could have a serious impact on the security of the Czech Republic and the European Union. His government imposed sanctions on the Voice of Europe website and two pro-Russian Ukrainians.