Belgium to investigate alleged Russian interference in European elections – Politics News

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Belgian intelligence has uncovered evidence that Russia has been paying members of the European Parliament in order to expand its influence network. Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has stated that prosecutors in Belgium are investigating suspected Russian interference in the upcoming European Parliament elections, with a focus on affecting Ukraine policy.

De Croo confirmed that Belgian intelligence has identified pro-Russia influence networks operating in multiple European countries, including Belgium. It has been reported that Russia has been approaching members of the European Parliament in countries like the Czech Republic, offering them money to promote pro-Russian sentiment.

The goal of these actions, according to De Croo, is to help elect more pro-Russian candidates to the European Parliament and to strengthen a pro-Russian narrative within the institution. While no cash payments have taken place in Belgium, the prime minister emphasized the need for action to address this interference.

The allegations of Russian interference will be discussed at an upcoming summit of European Union leaders, as the bloc prepares for Europewide elections in June. The EU has recently increased its support for Ukraine, approving a 50 billion euro plan to aid the country over the next four years.

De Croo expressed serious concerns about Russia’s efforts to expand its influence in EU member states and called for immediate action at both the national and EU levels. He has requested an urgent meeting of EuroJust and suggested that the antifraud office OLAF should handle the prosecution of the case.

The prime minister emphasized the importance of upholding every citizen’s right to a free and safe vote, and stated that it is crucial to address and prevent any Russian interference in elections.

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