German parliamentarians, journalists and USCC experts discussed Russian influence on German politics

A discussion on the influence of Russia on politics and public opinion in Germany was held with the support of the Ukrainian Security and Cooperation Center, in which the co-founder and deputy head of the USCC Olesia Horiainova took part.

During the event, the speaker spoke, in particular, about Russia’s manipulation of democratic principles in democratic states.

“Russia is not burdened by such things, and has always been active in the ‘defence of democracy’ in countries other than its own. This is the basis of its global network of influence and success”

Olesia Horiainova said.

The speakers of the discussion, which also included Stephan Thomae, member of the German Bundestag’s Committee on the Interior, Marcus Bensmann, investigative journalist at the CORRECTIV research network, and journalist Roland Preus – moderator, explored Russia’s influence on German politics, which is achieved, among other things, through its support for pro-Russian parties.

In Germany, in particular, this is the nationalist and right-wing populist pro-Russian political party AfD – Alternative for Germany.

As noted during the discussion, representatives of this party are accused by intelligence services in both Germany and the United States of having close ties and receiving financial rewards for cooperation with the FSB, and they participated in a secret meeting with neo-Nazis, which discussed the expulsion of millions of foreigners and German citizens with migrant roots from the country. In an interview with the Financial Times, the leader of the AfD, Alice Weidel, said that a referendum on Germany’s withdrawal from the EU could be held if her party forms a coalition.

“Russia, which built its key myth of the last century on the fact that it was the only victor over German nazism and incited collective guilt in Germans for the events of the past, is now funding people from a party that debates with neo-Nazis, calls for the expulsion of all migrants and even citizens with migratory roots from Germany, frankly, on the same principle as Hitler, and at the same time wages a genocidal war in Ukraine based on pure xenophobia and the desire to destroy every Ukrainian simply for being Ukrainian,”

noted Olesia Horiainova.

The discussion showed that there is an understanding among Germans of the Kremlin’s true plans. In particular, journalist Marcus Bensmann said bluntly that “Russia’s goal is not Ukraine, but the whole of Europe, and that Germany is not the moderator of this confrontation, but the ultimate goal”.

Therefore, every clue that can be used in the context of a particular country will be used to destabilise the situation in that country with the ultimate goal of promoting Russian interests or restoring Russian control. Therefore, the task of democracies in this difficult time is to learn how to effectively counteract this influence.

We would like to thank Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit and the Thomas Dehler Stiftung and the Munich Institute for Social Sciences on the Future for organising and hosting the event.

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