Published On: Fri, Apr 12th, 2024

Russia ‘interfering in Europe’s elections’ as Putin tries to undermine support for Ukraine | World | News

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has announced an investigation into suspected Russian interference in the upcoming Europe-wide elections in June.

He revealed that Belgian intelligence services have confirmed the existence of pro-Russian interference networks operating in several European countries, including Belgium.

De Croo, whose country currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency, stated that Belgian agencies are working closely with Czech authorities following the discovery of a pro-Russian influence operation.

The probe revealed that members of the European Parliament were approached and offered money to promote Russian propaganda.

De Croo warned that Moscow’s objectives are clear: to elect more pro-Russian candidates to the European Parliament and reinforce a pro-Russian narrative within the institution.

He emphasised that the ultimate goal is to weaken European support for Ukraine, which would benefit Russia on the battlefield.

The Europe-wide polls will take place from June 6-9 to elect a new EU parliament.

De Croo has warned that Belgian authorities are set to intervene in the matter, stating: “the cash payments did not take place in Belgium, but the interference does.”

“These are serious concerns and that is why I have taken action,” he fervently stated. “We cannot allow this type of Russian menace in our midst. We need to act, and we need to act both on the national level and we also need to act on the EU level.”

He did not disclose any specifics about potential suspects. It has come to light that Belgian officials exposed a case of influence-peddling operation at the European Parliament in December 2022 linked to Qatari officials.

The government of Qatar has refuted these accusations.

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