The AIVD approached FvD leader Baudet in 2020 because of serious indications that Russian agents would like to do something with his party, the Volkskrant wrote yesterday. Today, Minister Bruins Slot, who is in charge of the security service, confirmed that that meeting took place because there could be “interference”.
A spokesman for the AIVD explains that one of the core tasks of the service is to inform organizations or persons for whom the AIVD sees interest from a “foreign actor”.
Baudet had a conversation with AIVD director Erik Akerboom in his office. Baudet called that a “vague and unreal” conversation to the newspaper.
Decisions for such a meeting are made by Akerboom itself on the basis of serious information, says the spokesman for the AIVD. “We weigh that very carefully from our expertise, whoever it concerns.” It makes no difference whether it concerns a political party or, for example, a company. The security service does not want to say more about it.
Sympathy for Russia
There are many reports about the connections between Baudet and the politics of President Putin’s Russia. But so far there is no evidence that he is sent or paid in terms of content. Yet Baudet does not hide his sympathy for Russia.
Baudet regularly speaks pro-Russian about the investigation into the downing of MH17, in which 298 people died. In May 2019, in a European election debate, to the great shock of the relatives, he questioned the independence of the international investigation team JIT. Prime Minister Rutte then called him a “Russia hugger”.
This month, the JIT investigators concluded that Putin most likely personally authorized the use of anti-aircraft guns, which shot down flight MH17.
At an election debate in 2021, Baudet said he did not believe that the Kremlin had poisoned Putin’s political opponent Alexei Navalny. Navalny is now in a Russian prison. His prison sentence was recently extended by nine years.
Baudet has been seen with acquaintances of the Russian government, such as the political scientist Alexandr Dugin and Vladimir Kornilov, whom Baudet described in app traffic as “a Russian who works for Putin”. But whether he is politically influenced by them is not clear.
Putin is increasingly showing himself to be the leader of conservative Europe. Beautiful guy. So go, Markie Mark, to Moscow and make a deal with that man.
Just before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 11 last year, Baudet called Putin “the leader of conservative Europe. Beautiful guy.” The FvD leader says he wants an end to “NATO aggression”. Prime Minister Rutte, whom he calls Markie Mark, has to go to Moscow from Baudet and “make a deal with that man”.
When Russia invades Ukraine two weeks later, Baudet blames “the West” in a video on Twitter. He refers to the Ukraine referendum six years earlier and says he had already predicted the Russian invasion.
When the Ukrainian ambassador visits the House of Representatives a few days after the raid, the FvD MPs do not greet him and remain seated. The group will not attend the video speech of Ukrainian President Zelensky in March.
Despite the raging war and the many dead and wounded, Baudet does not moderate his tone. “Putin is right,” he tweeted in March 2022. In July, Russian ambassador Alexander Shulgin will be a guest at an FvD symposium on Ukraine. A few weeks later, Baudet tweets: “Putin is a hero.”
In a parliamentary debate in October 2022 about the Russian invasion, Baudet says: “That is the most hopeful thing I have ever experienced.” In a YouTube video, FvD MPs say that they do not believe the videos about bombed Ukrainian cities.
And just last Thursday, Baudet said in an interview: “Putin has a vision, the Netherlands has also simply become a target”, referring to the tanks that go to Ukraine via the port of Rotterdam. “If Putin says: we are going to bomb the supply lines, then he also has the law of war on his side.”
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