Far-right German MPs to visit Russian-occupied eastern Ukraine – EURACTIV.com

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In today’s news from the capitals:


Far-right German MPs will visit Russian-occupied eastern Ukraine. A delegation from Germany’s far-right AfD party, including three members of regional parliaments, will visit the Russian-occupied territories in eastern Ukraine this week on a trip that media say is sponsored by the Kremlin.

Meanwhile, analysts suggest the AfD’s Russian ties should be considered in light of the party’s efforts to bolster its electoral base. Read more.



Progressives accuse Le Pen of criticizing “reckless” Russian sanctions. France’s far-right leader Marine Le Pen denounced the EU’s “imperial” attitude before being condemned by centrists and the left, who branded her an accomplice of Putin. Read more.



Austria to release additional diesel from its strategic reserve. The government plans to release 60,000 tonnes of diesel from Austria’s strategic energy reserves to bolster market supply amid ongoing problems at the country’s only refinery: OMV Schwechat. Read more.



Teleworkers have more than doubled in four years in Belgium. Telework is developing in Belgium and is impacting mobility habits, explains the FPS Mobility and Transport in a press release published on Monday based on a survey of 1,250 Belgian workers between June and July this year. Read more.

Protesters urge the Belgian government not to send terrorists back to Iran. Supporters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran who live in exile in Belgium stood outside the Foreign Ministry on Monday, urging it not to return terrorist diplomat Assadollah Assadi to Iran. Read more.



The Dutch government will announce an energy billing plan. The government and energy companies have been working on a plan to cut energy bills, which will be announced by Climate and Energy Minister Rob Jetten on Tuesday. Read more.



Finland is now the EU’s only land border for Russian tourists. Since Monday, the border between Finland and Russia has become the only land border where Russian citizens can enter the EU. Read more.



Coalition talks: the far right is still watching the government’s position. Sweden’s political party leaders met the speaker of parliament in one-on-one meetings on Monday and, while the content of those conversations remained private, Sweden’s far-right Democrats reiterated their willingness to be part of ‘a government. Read more.



Greek conservatives are considering collaboration with the pro-Russian party. Greece’s ruling party, New Democracy (European People’s Party – EPP), may be open to collaborating with the “Greek Solution”, a far-right party known for its pro-Russian positions. Read more.



Portuguese government nervous over Nigerian gas supply contracts. Portugal’s environment minister said the government “wants to believe” that Nigeria, the main supplier of natural gas, will execute the supply contracts but acknowledged that the risk of non-compliance could lead to price changes in Portugal. Read more.



The Spanish coalition disagrees on a bill considering the privatization of the public health system. The left-wing party Unidas Podemos (United We Can/GUE-NGL), partner of the Socialist Party (PSOE/S&D), warned on Monday that it would not vote in favor of a new health bill in its format present because it paves the way for the privatization of the national health system of the Iberian country. Read more.



The Polish opposition reflects on unity before the elections. The two former Polish presidents have invited Polish opposition leaders to a meeting to agree on a common strategy for the upcoming pre-election season. Read more.

Poland will oppose EU sanctions against Hungary. After six months of cooler relations, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced on Sunday that his country would oppose EU sanctions against Hungary proposed by the European Commission. Read more.



Israel will participate in the meeting of the European Political Community. Representatives from Israel, Britain and the Western Balkans are expected to take part in the informal October EU leaders’ summit, hosted by the Czech EU Presidency, to discuss French President Emmanuel Macron’s pan-European initiative . Read more.



Extremism is growing in Slovakia. An increased number of cases of extremism have been reported in the past two years and the police brought 28% more cases for extremism in 2020 compared to the previous year, the Slovak Interior Ministry said in its Annual Report. Read more.



Hungary leads the EU in soaring bread prices. Despite emergency measures capping the price of some foodstuffs, including wheat flour, the price of bread in Hungary soared 66% in August, the latest in a growing list of food affordability issues. Read more.



The invasion of Russia is fully justified, according to the leader of the Bosnian Serbs. Bosnian Serb separatist leader Milorad Dodik gave his full backing to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Monday and drew a parallel with Bosnia, saying local Serbs cannot go to the same schools as locals. Muslims. Read more.



Russia behind anti-Bulgarian hysteria, according to former Macedonian PM. Russia is behind the anti-Bulgarian hysteria in North Macedonia, including protests and the proposal for a referendum to cancel the Neighborhood Accord Treaty with Bulgaria, former Macedonian Prime Minister Vlado Buchkovski has said. Read more.



Romania launches sale of 5G spectrum. Romania’s telecommunications authority ANCOM has launched the procedure for selling 5G spectrum, and companies interested in obtaining 5G licenses can announce their intention from Monday. Read more.



Slovenia will send tanks to Ukraine as part of a chain exchange with Germany. Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz agreed on Monday to swap military vehicles which will see Slovenian Yugoslav-era tanks sent to Ukraine. Read more.



No chance of us leaving Kosovo to the UN, says Vucic. There is no chance that Belgrade will accept Kosovo’s membership in the UN, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Monday. Read more.



Albanians in southern Serbia want their rights included in the Kosovo-Belgrade dialogue. Ethnic Albanians living in the Presevo Valley in southern Serbia have demanded that the issue of their expulsion from the region by the government in Belgrade be included in the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue. Read more.



Hackers release sensitive data on political assassination plots in Albania, Kosovo. Iranian cybercriminals on Monday released sensitive information from authorities, including documents on alleged plots to kill Albanian and Kosovar politicians, while the prosecutor in Tirana banned the media from publishing any such data. Read more.



  • EU: President of the European Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen participates in the opening of the general debate of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly;
  • Josep Borrell in New York, USA, to participate in different high-level events related to the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly and hold a number of bilateral meetings with international counterparts;
  • EU Commissioner Vice-President Frans Timmermans represents, together with von der Leyen, the EU at the engagement event “Countdown to CBD COP15: Landmark Leaders Event for a Nature Positive World”;
  • Netherlands: EMA organizes information meeting on COVID-19 and monkeypox vaccines;
  • Belgium: EU ministers meet to discuss rule of law and relations with UK;
  • Norway: Norwegian sovereign wealth fund presents new climate action plan;
  • WE: United Nations General Assembly High Level Week;


[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Vlad Makszimov, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor, Sofia Stuart Leeson]

James R. Rhodes