Credit: Vlá

Czech PM Fiala Issues Warning Over Russian Influence in EU After Brussels Summit

The presidents and premiers of EU countries realise that Russia’s influence in the European Union is provable and that we need to be on our guard, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said after an EU summit in Brussels today.

The topic of Russian interference in the EU was on the agenda on Wednesday evening, right after the opening of the summit.

“We had a debate on whether we need to strengthen the powers of the European prosecutor or other institutions that could effectively prevent Russian attempts to influence politics,” Fiala told reporters. He said the politicians exchanged views on what individual states could do in this regard. “We need to actively counter this,” he said.

On Tuesday, Fiala and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo wrote to the heads of the European Union institutions and the leaders of member states informing them of the findings of the investigation into Russian attempts to interfere in the European Parliament and elections. De Croo posted the letter on Twitter (styled as ‘X’). Among other things, the investigation found that the attempts at intervention included the handing over of cash, primarily in the Czech Republic.

In March, the Czech counterintelligence service BIS announced that it had managed to “detect and map” the activities of a Russian-funded influence network operating in EU countries and also in the European Parliament. In reaction, the Czech government imposed sanctions on several individuals and legal entities, including the media company Voice of Europe. The Czech Republic, with Belgian support, is calling for the company to be added to the European sanctions lists.

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