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Czech Republic and Belgium Call for New Sanctions Against Russia Over Its Attempts to Meddle in EU Elections

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Photo: Czech Republic and Belgium Call for New Sanctions Against Russia Over Its Attempts to Meddle in EU Elections. Source: Collage The Gaze \ by Leonid Lukashenko
Photo: Czech Republic and Belgium Call for New Sanctions Against Russia Over Its Attempts to Meddle in EU Elections. Source: Collage The Gaze \ by Leonid Lukashenko

On the eve of the EU leaders' summit on 17-18 April, Belgian and Czech Prime Ministers Alexander De Kroo and Petr Fiala called for new restrictive measures in response to Russia's attempts to interfere in European elections.

De Kroo posted the joint letter on (Х)Twitter.

The heads of government of Belgium and the Czech Republic stressed that, given the recent revelations of Russian spies and propagandists, the Russian regime is "trying to influence the upcoming European elections and strengthen the pro-Russian narrative in the new European Parliament".

The prime ministers expressed their intention to raise the issue of Russian influence at the EU leaders' meeting.

"We simply cannot allow Russia to get away with such a blatant attack on our democratic institutions and principles," they said in the letter.

"It is therefore time to introduce a new EU restrictive measures regime aimed at countering Russia's malign activities," De Kroo and Fiala said.

"Likewise, we must examine whether the mandates of the European Public Prosecutor's Office and the European Anti-Fraud Office allow for the prosecution of this interference. If not, we should not rule out expanding these mandates to allow for such prosecutions in the future," they added.

As The Gaze previously reported, the European Parliament imposed sanctions against an MEP from the Latvian-Russian Union accused of spying for Russia.

Prior to that, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said that the country needed to strengthen its security to prevent Russian infiltration. This comes a day after the arrest of a former Austrian intelligence officer on serious charges of spying for Russia. 

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