X

Russian Linked To Putin Tried To Fund New Dutch Political Party

May 20th, 2021 13:48

Dutch media is report­ing that a Russ­ian in con­tact with orga­ni­za­tions affil­i­at­ed with Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Putin tried to donate over 250,000 Euros to Splin­ter, a new­ly-found­ed polit­i­cal par­ty in the Nether­lands that describes itself as “green, pro­gres­sive, lib­er­al, and social demo­c­ra­t­ic.” Accord­ing to a de Volk­skrant arti­cle:

May 13, 2021 Before the elec­tions, a Russ­ian tried to finance the polit­i­cal par­ty Splin­ter with a dona­tion of 250,000 euros. This seems to be the first time a Russ­ian influ­ence cam­paign has been exposed. Dutch intel­li­gence ser­vices have long warned against under­min­ing by the Krem­lin. The Russ­ian who knocked on the door of Splin­ter, a par­ty of ex-Par­ty for the Ani­mals [orig­i­nal: Par­tij voor de Dieren] MP Femke Mer­el van Kooten-Aris­sen, is called Vadim Belikov. Research by cur­rent affairs pro­gram Een­Van­daag shows that he is in con­tact with orga­ni­za­tions affil­i­at­ed with Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin. Among oth­er things, Belikov found­ed a foun­da­tion togeth­er with a mem­ber of the Nacht­wol­ven, an ultra-nation­al­ist motor­cy­cle gang that stands up for Putin at home and abroad. It is not clear what the motives were for Belikov. The Russ­ian said he was con­cerned about wom­en’s rights to a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Splin­ter. The par­ty did not accept the mon­ey and report­ed the inci­dent to the Secu­ri­ty Ser­vice of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives (BVA). It failed to call in the intel­li­gence ser­vice. [Trans­lat­ed with Google Trans­late with minor edits]

Read the rest here.

The arti­cle notes that the Dutch inter­nal intel­li­gence agency AIVD claimed in its annu­al report that it approached sev­er­al Dutch polit­i­cal par­ties about Russ­ian infil­tra­tion attempts but did not state which par­ties were involved.

Recent Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report cov­er­age of influ­ence oper­a­tions involv­ing West­ern politi­cians has included:

  • In May, we report­ed that a Turk­ish-Amer­i­can influ­ence group and an NJ mayor’s office orga­nized a Ramadan iftar attend­ed by a US Congressman.
  • In April, we report­ed that sev­er­al Ger­man con­ser­v­a­tive law­mak­ers were involved in an Azer­bai­jani influ­ence oper­a­tion attempt­ing to buy the coun­try a bet­ter image in Germany.
  • In April, we pub­lished a GIOR inves­ti­ga­tion uncov­er­ing how Rus­sia uses for­mer West­ern politi­cians and diplo­mats to fur­ther its dis­in­for­ma­tion efforts.
  • In April, we report­ed that a Dan­ish MP par­tic­i­pat­ed in a vir­tu­al con­fer­ence host­ed by a Euro­pean Hamas sup­port group.
  • In Decem­ber, we report­ed that a Czech MEP act­ed as an agent of Chi­nese influ­ence in the Euro­pean Parliament.

West­ern polit­i­cal par­ties and politi­cians run the risk of advanc­ing the inter­ests of var­i­ous influ­ence actors seek­ing to obscure their involve­ment, use politi­cians as sur­ro­gate mes­sen­gers, or gain legit­i­ma­cy and cred­i­bil­i­ty through joint appearances.