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Conflicts: Faeser warns of growing threat from Russia

Conflicts: Faeser warns of growing threat from Russia

Lies, disinformation, espionage: The Federal Interior Minister warns of Russia’s influence in Western Europe. Protecting the upcoming elections is particularly important.

Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser has warned of growing dangers from Russia’s hybrid warfare. “We are actually experiencing a new dimension of threats from Russian aggression,” said the SPD politician to the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. “We see attempts to exert influence through lies, through massive disinformation. But espionage is also at least as active,” said Faeser. At the same time, she accused the Kremlin of specifically promoting refugee movements to Western Europe: “Russia also wants to destabilize the West with migration.”

The federal government will arm itself more strongly against Russia’s influence in Western Europe in the coming months, the minister announced. Protecting the upcoming elections is particularly important. “We must ensure that there are no hacker attacks on election authorities or on the transmission of election results.”

The European elections will take place in June, followed by state elections in Saxony, Thuringia and Brandenburg in September. When it comes to protection, Faeser relies on the increased use of artificial intelligence against disinformation campaigns. At the same time, she opposed cuts in her budget for 2025.

“AfD worships Putin and despises modern Germany”

Faeser also accused the AfD of being close to Putin, which AfD leader Alice Weidel denied in a dpa interview. “The AfD worships Putin and despises modern Germany,” said the minister. The party has “largely radicalized from an anti-Euro party to an anti-Basic Law party.” Faeser also did not rule out banning proceedings against the AfD. “If a party wants to aggressively overcome the basic democratic order, it can be banned by the Federal Constitutional Court. If the radicalization of the AfD continues, that is an option that our constitution provides for,” said the minister.

The Office for the Protection of the Constitution observes the AfD party as a suspected right-wing extremist case, which was confirmed by the court in the first instance and is currently the subject of an appeal before the Münster Higher Administrative Court. In Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution has classified the respective AfD regional association as a confirmed right-wing extremist effort.

Source: Stern

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