In the Netherlands, the radical right-wing leader’s troubled relations with Russia

FvD leader Thierry Baudet is on the defensive over his relations with Moscow.

He talks about the crash of the MH-17 plane, shot down in July 2014 by a Russian missile in eastern Ukraine, as “a CIA and Ukrainian secret service conspiracy”. He opposes European sanctions against Moscow decided following the reunification of Crimea. He presents President Vladimir Putin as “a friendly head of state” . And he pleaded, before changing his mind, for his country to leave NATO.

With such remarks, Thierry Baudet, founder and leader of the Forum for Democracy (FvD, radical right) in the Countries – Low, obviously could only attract attention. And the suspicion: this 37-year-old historian and jurist, nationalist, Europhobe and supporter of the re-establishment of borders within the European Union, is he a “vassal of Moscow”, as the daily newspaper Trouw ?

“Erroneous information” on flight MH-17

A report broadcast on April 16 by the BNNVARA public channel reported , in any case, set fire to the powder. Particularly because journalists have had access to internal mail exchanges deemed at least disturbing. And confirmed by Henk Otten, co-founder and ex-treasurer of the FvD, from which he was expelled in 2019. He now sits as an independent senator.

Journalists investigated in Washington, Paris and Vienna on the connections of M. Baudet, who affirms that “enormously overvalued” the Russian threat. At the heart of his network of relationships is notably Vladimir Kornilov, Russian and Ukrainian passport holder, journalist and influencer, propagandist of a great Russia who would re-integrate countries formerly in the orbit of the former USSR. “Who is Kornilov?” “, questioned Henk Otten in 2015. ” An influential figure, a Russian who works for Putin “, replied Mr. Baudet.

The Russian regime” is looking for people who share his convictions to destabilize the West from the inside ”, according to Ben de Jong, intelligence specialist

Kornilov in any case addressed his congratulations to him at the end of the 2016 referendum , when the Dutch rejected the EU-Ukraine Association Treaty. The first political success of Mr. Baudet, eager to block the functioning of the Union. When questioned by BNNVARA, Kornilov said he had also discussed with the FvD leader the “misinformation” circulating in the Netherlands regarding the tragic end of flight MH-17. He denied, however, any remittance of money to Mr. Baudet. This one also disputes this “fable”, even if, in his exchanges with Mr. Otten, who provides evidence, he mentions his contact as having “a lot of money” and being likely to “pay more” .