We didn’t know it was Russian propaganda, defend the politicians who spoke to the Voice of Europe

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One of the politicians who gave an interview to Voice of Europe half a year ago was the former president Václav Klaus. An almost half-hour long interview in English, in which the former head of state shares his views on European integration and mass migration, can be found on YouTube, where it has only over 700 views.

According to Petr Macinka from the Václav Klaus Institute, the journalist who interviewed Klaus was part of the media entourage of the Belgian delegation that met the ex-president.

“The president gives a hundred interviews a year, one of which was for the Voice of Europe. That person was Belgian and he came to the Czech Republic with the Belgian vice-president of the Senate, who expressed an interest in meeting the president,” Macinka told Novinkám, who himself is running in the European elections for the coalition of the Přísaha and Motoristé seba groupings. “When the visit was arranged, it came about according to protocol. They asked if we would mind a short conversation. We had no idea what the Voice of Europe was and we didn’t deal with it,” said Macinka.

The BIS and the Ukrainian secret service helped uncover the pro-Russian network

Became

Former foreign minister and ex-chairman of the KDU-ČSL Cyril Svoboda also gave an interview to the server, which gave space to Eurosceptic politicians. He defends that at the time when the representatives of the platform spoke, she was not yet on the sanctions list.

“I give interviews to everyone, including smaller Internet TV stations. I did not examine the ownership structure. Just like, for example, I don’t know who owns Pravo,” said the former minister, who currently teaches at the Diplomatic Academy, for Novinky a Právo. He said that he would no longer give an interview to the platform today. “Nothing has changed about my pro-European orientation, I support joining the eurozone,” he added.

Czech politicians did not receive the money

According to BIS findings, the Voice of Europe server was part of an organized network that tried to influence European elections in favor of the Kremlin. The main actors of this network were the pro-Russian Ukrainian Viktor Medvědčuk and his associate Artťom Marčevskij, who lives in Prague. Both are said to be close directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Some Eurosceptic politicians were supposed to be paid in cash by the server for interviews, and according to the BIS, the money was even handed over in Prague. According to BIS, there is no documented case of a Czech politician getting paid by the platform.

Voice of Europe also exclusively interviewed former Prime Minister Jiří Paroubek, today the chairman of the Czech Sovereignty – Social Democracy, which uses the ČSSD brand. Paroubek, who gave the interview in Czech, said earlier that he does not share the “purposive paranoid vision of the world of Mr. Koudelka”, i.e. the head of BIS, and that he does not remember the interview.

The president of Trikolora Zuzana Majerová, the head of the non-parliamentary movement PRO Jindřich Rajchl and the German deputy of Czech origin for the opposition Alternative for Germany (AfD) Petr Bystroň also gave an interview, who described the whole case as “revenge of Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS)”.

It’s Fial’s Revenge. A German lawmaker is defending himself against claims that he spread Russian propaganda for money

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The article is in Czech

Czechia

Tags: didnt Russian propaganda defend politicians spoke Voice Europe

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