NewsKremlin influences exposed: European politicians under scrutiny

Kremlin influences exposed: European politicians under scrutiny

Many people were involved in the Kremlin's operation in Europe.
Many people were involved in the Kremlin's operation in Europe.
Images source: © Getty Images | Contributor

8:14 AM EDT, June 5, 2024

Before the elections to the European Parliament, the Kremlin was building a network of influence in Europe. According to information provided by "Gazeta Wyborcza," at least a few politicians accepted money in exchange for their cooperation. The article in "Wyborcza" was created with four other European editorial offices.

It was reported that "the Kremlin's operation has been jointly investigated by the special services of Poland, the Czech Republic, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and France for a year now." "It concerns a widespread attempt to gain influence over European politicians, which would allow Russia to control them after the elections to the European Parliament, and also to end the war in Ukraine on its terms," reads the Wednesday edition of "Gazeta Wyborcza."

As part of the operation, the Kremlin was said to have created unique internet portals, such as Voice of Europe, Visegrad Post, and Golos. The main goal was to gain the support of right-wing party politicians, including the European far right. These politicians have been participating in conferences organized by Kremlin agents for years, which aimed to promote the thesis that Ukraine is a failed state with a fascist government that does not want peace with Russia.

Russian influences at the top

"Gazeta Wyborcza" reported that, according to the services, one of the Kremlin's agents is Guillaume Pradoura, an assistant to several MEPs. Belgian services searched his offices in Brussels and Strasbourg last week.

Pradoura is a former member of the France National Rally under Marine Le Pen. Since 2019, he has worked for MEPs from far-right parties, such as Nicolas Bay from Reconquest, Maximilian Krah from AfD, and Marcel de Graaf from Forum for Democracy.

According to the Czech counter-intelligence agency BIS, all three could have been involved in the Russian operation. Some of them might have even received money from the Kremlin. "What amounts are we talking about? A representative of one of the services mentions 'hundreds of thousands of euros,'" the newspaper reports.

These individuals deny the accusations, claiming they were victims of a political witch hunt.

The Polish thread in the case

Information provided by "Gazeta Wyborcza" indicates that the investigation leads to a Polish thread in the case. Pradoura has close ties with Janusz N., a Pole accused of espionage for Russia who has been in detention for three years.

Pradoura arranged a permanent pass for him to the European Parliament. N. regularly visited Brussels, where he organized meetings with pro-Russian politicians, including Viktor Medvedchuk, an openly pro-Russian politician often referred to as Putin's protégé.

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