Brussels Raids Reveal Russian Interference in EU Parliament

Belgian police conducted searches at the residence and office of a European Parliament employee over suspected Russian interference. The investigation, linked to attempts to promote Russian propaganda ahead of EU elections, involved cooperation with Eurojust and French authorities. The probe highlights Moscow's efforts to sway EU Parliament elections.


PTI | Brussels | Updated: 29-05-2024 15:21 IST | Created: 29-05-2024 15:21 IST
Brussels Raids Reveal Russian Interference in EU Parliament
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Belgium's federal prosecutor's office said on Wednesday that police carried out searches at the residence of an employee of the European Parliament and at his office in the Parliament's building in Brussels over suspected Russian interference.

Prosecutors said in statement that the suspect's office in Strasbourg, where the EU Parliament's headquarters are located in France, was also searched in partnership with the EU's judicial cooperation agency, Eurojust, and French judicial authorities.

The raids took place less than two weeks before Europe-wide polls on June 6-9 to elect a new EU parliament.

The investigation was announced last month by Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, who said his country's intelligence service has confirmed the existence of a network trying to undermine support for Ukraine.

"The searches are part of a case of interference, passive corruption and membership of a criminal organization and relates to indications of Russian interference, whereby Members of the European Parliament were approached and paid to promote Russian propaganda via the Voice of Europe news website," prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said they believe the employee played "a significant role in this." De Croo said last month that the probe showed that members of the European Parliament were approached and offered money to promote Russian propaganda.

"According to our intelligence service, the objectives of Moscow are very clear. The objective is to help elect more pro-Russian candidates to the European Parliament and to reinforce a certain pro-Russian narrative in that institution," he said.

EU nations have poured billions of euros into Ukraine, along with significant amounts of weaponry and ammunition. They've also slapped sanctions on top Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, banks, companies and the energy sector since Moscow's full-scale invasion in February 2022.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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