Von der Leyen: “There is no EU with the servants of the Kremlin, despisers of democracy”

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, called for the protection of European values and achievements from populists and extremists in the European Commission elections in June. She stated this during a speech in Berlin, The Guardian reports.

Ursula von der Leyen emphasized that “with the servants of the Kremlin, despisers of democracy, and extremists, there is no state and no European Union either.”

The President of the European Commission said she would only work with parties that had “a clear commitment to the rule of law, a clear commitment to Ukraine and against the crimes of the Kremlin, and a clear commitment to our Europe”.

“An arsonist in the European house”

Von der Leyen criticized the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), calling it “an arsonist in the European house.”

“Whoever sets fire to the European house also takes an axe to the single market, which is the basis of our prosperity,” she stated, referring to the AfD’s idea of Germany’s withdrawal from the EU, dpa reports.

The European Commission’s President referred to the charges against leading AfD candidates Maximilian Krah and Petr Bystron, as well as espionage charges against a former Krah aide in the European Parliament.

“The AfD has been conducting propaganda in favor of Putin and spying for China in the run-up to the European elections. So, first, the AfD talks about the people and the fatherland. And then it betrays this fatherland to autocrats. They should be ashamed of themselves,” she said.

We reported that the Alternative for Germany MEP’s assistant was detained in April. The German Prosecutor General accuses the detainee of acting as a secret service agent and spying for China. Maximilian Krah refused to resign his mandate in relation to this investigation.

Read also: Bundeswehr officer’s unexpected explanation for spying for Russia at trial

Von der Leyen: Putin wants to return empires and autocracies to Europe

Earlier, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at the European Economic Congress in Katowice that Russian president Vladimir Putin wants to return empires and autocracies to Europe, breaking the rules-based European order, according to Euractiv.

Speaking together with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, von der Leyen insisted that she stands for an EU that is ready to do everything possible to protect Europe, and especially Ukraine.

“Putin’s war is about redrawing the map of Europe, but it is also a war on our Union and on the entire global rules-based system,” she said.

According to her, Putin wants to restore an empire and autocratic rule in Europe. She added that there should be no illusions about the Russian leader’s intentions.

Along with Tusk, von der Leyen urged Europe to spend more on its own defense and invest in the European defense industry in light of the security threats posed by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

If re-elected president of the European Commission, von der Leyen said, she would propose a series of defense projects of common European interest “to ensure that major projects can be started, developed, built, and deployed on European territory.”

For his part, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk called on the European Union to raise at least 100 billion euros for defense and set up a joint air defense system.

Tusk believes that better preparation on the part of Europe could have prevented a full-scale Russian attack on Ukraine.

Read also: European Commission plans to add Voice of Europe to the EU sanctions list

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