FBI Investigates German Politician Maximilian Krah's Ties to Russia

FBI questions German far-right politician Maximilian Krah over alleged Russian funding ahead of EU elections, raising concerns about foreign interference in Western democracies.

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FBI Investigates German Politician Maximilian Krah's Ties to Russia

FBI Investigates German Politician Maximilian Krah's Ties to Russia

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has questioned Maximilian Krah , a leading candidate for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party in the upcoming European Parliament elections, about possible payments from pro-Russian benefactors. The interrogation took place in December 2023 in the United States, before Krah returned to Germany from a visit to a Young Republicans event in New York.

According to media reports, the FBI was interested in messages between Krah and Oleh Voloshyn, a pro-Russian Ukrainian who is accused of treason in Ukraine and is on the US sanctions list. The investigators allegedly confronted Krah with a chat message suggesting he may have been secretly paid over an unspecified period of time. Krah denied receiving any money, payments, or compensation from Voloshyn, claiming the message was for someone else and that he only paid for Voloshyn's opera ball ticket.

Krah's name has also been associated with the pro-Russian internet platform 'Voice of Europe', which has published interviews with him and another AfD politician. The Czech Republic has put 'Voice of Europe' on its sanctions list, alleging it was part of a Russian influence operation . Krah denies having accepted money from the platform.

The case is part of a larger corruption scandal where Russia is suspected of funding pro-Kremlin European politicians. Belgian authorities are also investigating pro-Russian interference networks in the European Parliament. The AfD, which opposes Germany's arms aid to Ukraine and supports the restoration of trade relations with Russia, has recently increased its support in Germany.

Why this matters: The investigation into Krah's ties to Russia highlights the ongoing concerns about foreign influence in Western democracies, particularly in the context of the upcoming European Parliament elections. The outcome of this case could have significant implications for the AfD's political prospects and the broader issue of Russian interference in European politics.

Krah confirmed he was questioned as a witness about his contacts in Ukraine but denied any wrongdoing. He stated the allegations are "ridiculous and fabricated" and that his communication with pro-Russian individuals was part of his job to keep channels open. The European Parliament elections are scheduled for June 6-9, and the FBI's investigation into Krah's Russian connections is ongoing.

Key Takeaways

  • FBI questioned German far-right politician Maximilian Krah over Russian money
  • Krah denies receiving any money from pro-Russian Ukrainian Oleh Voloshyn
  • Krah's ties to pro-Russian platform 'Voice of Europe' raise concerns about foreign influence
  • Ongoing corruption scandal involving Russia funding pro-Kremlin European politicians
  • FBI's investigation could impact AfD's political prospects in upcoming EU elections