RussiaNovember 14 2022, 8:43 am

Former Dutch Senate President Accused of Being a “Pawn” in Kremlin Plot to Influence Public Opinion; René van der Linden Tried to Build Russia-Friendly National Conservative Coalition

Dutch media is report­ing that the for­mer Pres­i­dent of the Dutch Sen­ate main­tained ties with high-rank­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Putin regime after they were placed on sanc­tion lists. Accord­ing to the Dutch­News report, René van der Lin­den was said to be a “pawn in a Krem­lin plot to try to influ­ence west­ern pub­lic opin­ion and politi­cians in Russia’s favour:”

Novem­ber 13, 2022 The Dutch secu­ri­ty ser­vice AIVD mon­i­tored and tapped the phone of for­mer sen­ate leader René van der Lin­den because of his ties with peo­ple close to Vladimir Putin, the Volk­skrant and NRC report­ed on Sat­ur­day. Van der Lin­den, a for­mer Euro­pean affairs min­is­ter and sen­a­tor for the Chris­t­ian Democ­rats for 16 years, also made sev­er­al trips to Moscow, the paper said. Accord­ing to the NRC, Van der Lin­den was a ‘pawn in a Krem­lin plot to try to influ­ence west­ern pub­lic opin­ion and polit­i­cans in Russia’s favour’. ‘He spoke at con­fer­ences in Moscow and opposed Euro­pean sanc­tions,’ the paper said. In par­tic­u­lar, Van der Lin­den had close con­tacts with Valeri Lev­it­s­ki, who was expelled from France in April 2018 because of espi­onage. Lev­it­s­ki also orga­nized Van der Linden’s vis­its to Moscow, which were paid for by Rus­sia, and ‘helped’ him main­tain con­tacts with two Russ­ian par­lia­men­tar­i­ans who had been placed on inter­na­tion­al sanc­tions lists, the paper said. It was not until July 2019, after a vis­it­ing a con­fer­ence in Moscow, that Van der Lin­den was warned about his Krem­lin con­nec­tions, both papers said. Van der Lin­den admit­ted he had been warned but would not say by whom.

Read the rest here.

Anoth­er Dutch media report indi­cates that Van der Lin­den was used to facil­i­tate an attempt to build a coali­tion of Rus­sia-friend­ly far-right polit­i­cal par­ties in Europe. Accord­ing to the NRC report, this attempt includ­ed a 2018 con­fer­ence fea­tur­ing a host of Euro­pean Nation­al Con­ser­v­a­tive parties:

In June 2018 there is anoth­er such forum. Van der Lin­den address­es the audi­ence: “A strong Rus­sia is more impor­tant for the future of Europe than a weak Rus­sia, but there are peo­ple who want to reduce the impor­tance of Rus­sia in the world.” The Press Office of the Duma tweets it around. Many lis­ten­ers in the room come from Africa, Asia and South Amer­i­ca and have close ties to the Krem­lin. They are del­e­ga­tions from coun­tries that usu­al­ly abstain or vote against in the Unit­ed Nations Gen­er­al Assem­bly when res­o­lu­tions against Rus­sia are on the agen­da. The major­i­ty of Euro­pean par­tic­i­pants come from anti-EU, con­ser­v­a­tive and rad­i­cal-right or rad­i­cal-left cir­cles, accord­ing to the list of par­tic­i­pants. They are politi­cians from Alter­na­tive für Deutsch­land (AfD), Front Nation­al, Frei­heitliche Partei Öster­re­ichs, Alter­na­tiv för Sverige, Vlaams Belang.…Already dur­ing the par­lia­men­tary forum in 2014, work was done “on forg­ing a coali­tion of (extreme) right-wing polit­i­cal par­ties in Europe”, accord­ing to a pho­to album about the work of Leonid Sloet­s­ki. The pas­sage from the album is emailed by Lev­it­s­ki to Van der Lin­den. It’s all about desta­bi­liz­ing West­ern Europe. In 2015, a rad­i­cal right-wing, pro-Russ­ian group in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment was final­ly formed. For the Rus­sians, the pres­ence of Van der Lin­den at the forum in June 2019 gives weight to the con­fer­ence. The invi­ta­tion states that “well-known Euro­pean par­lia­men­tar­i­ans” are present. The name of René van der Lin­den is men­tioned. And once again the CDA mem­ber has a Rus­sia-friend­ly mes­sage in store for the audience

[NOTE: The 2019 date is like­ly error in date]

Read the rest here.

In March, the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report­ed that the Dutch par­lia­ment announced it want­ed the Court of Audit to inves­ti­gate Russ­ian financ­ing of Dutch polit­i­cal par­ties and politicians.


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