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EU’s Jourová thinks Russian influence affair is ‘tip of the iceberg’

In World
April 05, 2024

European Commission Vice-President Věra Jourová is expecting further allegations with regard to possible covert payments from Russia to European politicians as part of a disinformation campaign.

Czech newspaper Denik N has reported that far-right politician Petr Bystron, an Alternative for Germany (AfD) member of the German parliament, was suspected of having contact with pro-Russian internet platform Voice of Europe (VoE) and may have accepted money.

The Prague Cabinet recently placed the site on a national sanctions list. Bystron was born in then-Czechoslovakia before moving to Germany.

“I am convinced that what we know now is just the tip of the iceberg,” Jourová told Czech newspaper Hospodarske noviny on Friday.

She assumes that Russia is paying far more politicians or people with influence in the European Union than previously known.

“Of course, we [as politicians] don’t have the tools to determine who they are, but secret services are prepared to reveal the information and tell the public – and that’s a good thing,” she remarked.

Jourová, who is Czech, said that different levels of national security across EU member states made the situation complicated.

“Whether it is actually a case of corruption must of course be decided by investigators and judges,” the commissioner for values and transparency added.

Bystron told dpa that the media reports were “unproven accusations and allegations.”

In a statement to the AfD party leadership, which dpa has seen, he wrote: “At no time did I receive money or cryptocurrency from an employee of VoE (or any Russian).”

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