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Reuters: “Clean up your house,” Ursula von der Leyen calls on far-right parties to eliminate Kremlin influence ahead of EU election

In a recent debate organized by Politico, von der Leyen criticized these parties for their ties with the Kremlin and urged them to “clean up their house” from Russian propaganda.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a debate on European Security and Defence, as part of a plenary session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, on 28 February, 2024. (Photo via
Reuters: “Clean up your house,” Ursula von der Leyen calls on far-right parties to eliminate Kremlin influence ahead of EU election

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has strongly criticized far-right parties, including Germany’s AfD, which will participate in the European Union parliamentary election in June, urging them to “clean up their house” and get rid of Kremlin propaganda, Reuters reports.

Last week, Germany arrested an assistant to Maximilian Krah, a member of the European Parliament and the leading candidate for the far-right populist AfD in the upcoming parliament election this June. The individual was accused of spying for China, according to Deutsche Welle.

The AfD, which is under nationwide surveillance by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution due to suspicions of being an extremist party, has also faced repeated allegations of close connections with Russia. In a statement, Krah denied any knowledge of his assistant’s alleged spying activities.

Experts believe a surge in far-right parties may only increase each year of Russia’s war. They warn that such political players intend to destabilize society, undermine support for Ukraine, as well as seek “peace” negotiations with the Kremlin, and even lead to fragmentation of the European Union.

“When I see what your AfD colleagues, the lead candidates, have done, they are under investigation for being in the pocket of (Russian President Vladimir) Putin,” claimed von der Leyen.

Her statements came during a debate with several other candidates on the future of the EU organized by Politico, during which she addressed Anders Vistisen of the right-wing Danish People’s Party, who pointed to the arrest of an assistant to Maximilian Krah.

Vistisen accused von der Leyen of leveraging support for Ukraine in its war against Russian occupying troops as a means to gain more political power.

“If you look at the electoral program (of the far right), you will see that it echoes the lies and the propaganda of the Kremlin. So clean up your house before you criticize us,” von der Leyen said.

Some nationalist, anti-immigration parties are teaming up to form a new alliance ahead of the upcoming European Union parliamentary election. The initiative, announced by officials from four groups at the beginning of April, aims to establish a new bloc to exert influence within the EU.

In addition to the AfD, the conservative Finns Party and the rightist Danish People’s Party have pledged their support to this initiative.

The leader of the right-wing League party, Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, has persuaded politicians with the same positions to bridge existing divides ahead of the EU election. Salvini has already convinced his current EU partners, including Marine Le Pen’s National Rally in France, to participate in the vote.

Earlier, Ursula von der Leyen said the bloc should not underestimate an existential threat to Ukraine and Europe coming from Russia during the European Parliament formal sitting on the 20th anniversary of the 2004 EU Enlargement.

Russia poses an existential threat to Europe, warns President of European Commission Ursula von der Leyen

The president of the European Commission said that Russia’s victory over Ukraine would not only change the map but would change the course of European history, and the bloc would never be the same. Therefore, it’s vital for the EU to help Ukraine win over Moscow’s occupation troops.

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