Putin Defends Kremlin's Relations with AfD

Written by Camilla Jessen

Jun.06 - 2024 9:02 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
No signs of neo-Nazism, says Putin.

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The Russian leadership has few allies left in German politics, but it continues to maintain contacts with the AfD, in particular.

As reported by n-tv, Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin defended meetings between Russian representatives and members of the AfD, which is partly classified as right-wing extremist.

"We will work with everyone who wants to cooperate with Russia," Putin said at a meeting with international news agencies in St. Petersburg.

He stressed that the AfD shows no signs of neo-Nazism and that Russia does not have systemic relations with the German opposition party but supports normal relations if someone seeks them.

Putin also criticized the political situation in Germany, where alternative viewpoints are quickly viewed as subversive.

The Russian president claimed that anyone who expressed a dissenting opinion would immediately be branded as an agent of the Kremlin. This meeting at the Lakhta Center of gas giant Gazprom is the first international meeting of its kind since the beginning of the war against Ukraine.

Putin used the opportunity to present himself as host of the 27th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, at which Russia aims to emerge as a strong raw materials power despite Western sanctions.

The relations between Russia and the AfD are not new. In the past, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov received AfD chairman Tino Chrupalla in Moscow as a state guest.

These meetings are seen by the Russian leadership as a sign of cooperation and exchange with international political forces.

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