Belgium and Czechia demand new sanctions against Russia over its disinformation meddling

Belgium and the Czech Republic demand new sanctions against Russia over attempts to interfere in EU elections.

On the eve of the EU leaders’ summit, Belgian and Czech Prime Ministers Alexander De Kroo and Petr Fiala called for new restrictive measures in relation to Russia’s attempts to interfere in European elections. De Kroo published the letter in X.

The heads of the Belgian and Czech governments emphasized that, given the latest revelations, the Russian regime is “trying to influence the upcoming European elections and strengthen the pro-Russian narrative in the new European Parliament.”

They expressed their intention to raise the issue of Russian influence at the meeting of EU leaders because “we simply cannot allow Russia to get away with such a blatant attack on our democratic institutions and principles.”

“In this regard, it is time to introduce a new EU restrictive measures regime aimed at countering Russia’s malign activities,” De Kroo and Fiala suggest.

“Similarly, we should 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.

In March, the Czech Republic exposed a network that was developing an operation to spread Russian influence and undermine European security. In this context, Prague imposed sanctions on Viktor Medvedchuk, Ukrainian-born propagandist Artem Marchevsky, and the pro-Kremlin right-wing website Voice of Europe.

In addition, Belgian prosecutors are investigating possible Russian interference in the upcoming European Parliament elections based on intelligence reports.

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