• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Putin Euro influence strategy targets AfD

The Local · 24 Nov 2014, 10:14

Published: 24 Nov 2014 10:14 GMT+01:00

Bild reported on Monday on a document titled “Putin: the new leader of international conservatism”, in which the Moscow-based Centre for Strategic Communications lays out how the Russian leader could influence key EU member states including Germany.

The paper's authors highlight one of the AfD's financing methods - trading gold - as a way for the Kremlin to buy influence into the party. The advisors suggested the Russian government could sell gold to the party at a loss or use the Germans as a middleman for gold trading at commission as a way of filling the party's coffers.

The AfD has sold gold worth €2.1 million since October, making low profits but aim to maximise the amount of public aid - calculated according to how many votes a party wins and its other income - it receives.

Putin's experts also suggest repeating the strategy of making loans to the party, which has proved successful in France.

There, the First Czech-Russian bank loaned the far-right National Front (FN) more than €9 million – and its leaders have showered Russia with praise in return.

"Russia feels isolated," Christian Wipperfürth of foreign policy think-tank DGAP told The Local. "A lot of things have changed in West Europe and Central Europe in the last 20 years and Putin and the Russian people don't understand it.

"Russia is going back to its instinctive conservatism, as in the century before World War One."

The Ukraine crisis is a particular sore spot as in the past, "Germany and Russia have found common ground. Germany is very reluctant to take military action.

"In this country we feel like the bombs will be falling on us, whereas the Americans feel like the ones sitting in the bomber."

Russia hasn't agreed with German reluctance to intervene in cases like Iraq or Libya out of pacifist principle, but out of a default position of opposition to Brussels and Washington and a shared dislike for meddling in the Middle East, he said.

But Russia's clear interest in Western Europe shouldn't be taken as confirmation that it would directly fund political parties in the West, Wipperfürth argued.

"I believe it's true that Russia wants closer connections in central and western Europe, but I don't think (Russia) needs to do this."

Story continues below…

While AfD was not present at a meeting of Russian representatives with European far-right parties in Vienna in March, the strategy paper proposes targeting the party's vice-president Alexander Gauland (73).

Gauland was an important voice in favour of a vote against EU sanctions on Russia at the AfD party conference in March 2014.

He was also a special guest of the Russian ambassador in Berlin in September as well as speaking at a pro-Russia conference on Saturday alongside Russian Railways president and Putin confidant Vladimir Yakunin.

AfD spokespeople could not be reached for comment on Monday.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Ansbach suicide attack
Isis says Syrian bomber in Bavaria one of its 'soldiers'
Photo: DPA

The Syrian asylum seeker who blew himself up outside a music festival in Germany was a "soldier" of the Isis, the jihadist-linked Amaq news agency said on Monday.

Merkel's refugee policy was 'reckless': Left Party leader
Photo: DPA

The attacks carried out by refugees over the past week show accepting large numbers of refugees brings "significant problems", the party's chairwoman said on Monday.

Ansbach suicide attack
What we know about the Ansbach suicide bomber
The attacker's rucksack. Photo: DPA

He had had his asylum application rejected and had twice attempted suicide, say authorities.

Ansbach suicide attack
Ansbach suicide bomber confirms Isis loyalty in video
Police remove evidence from the bombers residence. Photo: DPA

The man who blew himself up in Ansbach, Bavaria, on Sunday evening, injuring 15 people, recorded a video in which he pledged his allegiance to terror group Isis.

Top 10 German firms with the highest-paid employees
Photo: DPA

Want to know which companies shell out the most for salaries?

How will Germany change after string of bloody attacks?
A policeman in Ansbach on Sunday evening. Photo: DPA

Within seven days Germany has been hit by four bloody attacks on innocent people on its streets and in a train. What does this unprecedented string of murders mean for the country?

After attacks, minister rejects blanket suspicion of refugees
Thomas de Maiziere. Photo: DPA

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere on Monday cautioned Germans against indiscriminately branding all refugees a security threat after a rash of attacks over the last week.

What we know about the Reutlingen knife attack
Police arrest the attacker. Photo: DPA

... and what we don't.

Munich shooting
Police arrest possible accomplice of Munich gunman
Mourners in Munich. Photo: DPA

Authorities in Munich believe that a friend of the teenager who murdered nine people at a Munich shopping centre may have known about his plans.

Ansbach suicide attack
Suicide bomber attacks bar in Bavaria
Photo: DPA

A Syrian migrant set off an explosion at a bar in southern Germany that killed himself and wounded a dozen others late Sunday, authorities said, the third attack to hit Bavaria in a week.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
DPA
Gallery
IN PICTURES: How Munich responded to shooting spree
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
National
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
10,700
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd