Russia actively influences all political groups in European Parliament

Thursday, 18 April 2024 —

Russia is trying to influence all political groups in the European Parliament, including the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), which includes Poland's former ruling party. 

An investigation by Czech and Polish authorities at the end of March revealed a pro-Russian operation of influence in Europe involving a pro-Russian propaganda network.

"The Russians are very active in every [EU political] group," Mateusz Morawiecki, former Prime Minister of Poland and member of the Law and Justice party, said in an interview for Euractiv in response to developments, adding that he was not surprised by the latest exposure to a pro-Russian network of influence. 

Morawiecki's Law and Justice party and its European political family ECR are also not out of risk, he acknowledged. 


"I’m sure ECR is also being infiltrated, or there are attempts to infiltrate, and I wouldn’t be surprised to know that there is this or that member cooperating with the Russians because they are extremely effective in capturing people," Morawiecki said. 

"I’m not surprised with them [Russians] penetrating [far-right] ID [group] – the opposite is the case: I’m absolutely certain that they are also trying to penetrate (…) [centre-right] EPP and Socialists [S&D]," Morawiecki added. 

Although no official charges have yet been brought, the media reported, citing sources in Czech intelligence, that Petr Bystron, the German MP from the Alternative for Germany party, received €25,000 from a Russian propaganda network.

Alternative for Germany is part of the European political group Identity and Democracy (ID), which Morawiecki hopes to cooperate with after the European Parliament elections in June. 

The Belgian prosecutor's office investigates possible Russian interference in the upcoming European Parliament elections based on data provided by the intelligence services.

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