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Belgium is investigating Russian interference in European elections

Apr 12, 2024

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said Belgium could prosecute people for meddling in European elections as part of efforts to combat Russian disinformation.

“Our federal prosecutor has launched an investigation based on a declassified report provided by our intelligence agencies. Our judicial authorities have now confirmed that this interference is subject to prosecution,” De Croo said, RBC-Ukraine reported, citing Bloomberg.

His statement comes after the Czech government said last month that its counterintelligence service had uncovered a Russian network that was trying to influence politics and public opinion across Europe, including payments to European politicians. Prague also imposed sanctions on the local company that runs the Voice of Europe website and two individuals associated with it.

Although Belgian intelligence services determined that cash transactions were not carried out in Belgium, De Croo said that the interference took place in the country.

De Croo also called for action at the EU level, which he will raise at a leaders' meeting in Brussels next week. Belgium holds the rotating presidency of the bloc.

The Prime Minister asked Eurojust, the EU agency for judicial cooperation in criminal matters, to urgently meet and discuss the issue and to explore how to expand the mandate of the European Public Prosecutor's Office to ensure such threats are prosecuted.

“We must remain very vigilant about any upcoming elections, certainly related to the European elections, which will take place at the beginning of June. The only intention is to weaken European democracy and weaken support for Ukraine, which is one of Russia's goals,” De Croo said.

Author - Serhii Kolomiets, 13/04/2024

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