Dutch far right leader Thierry Baudet was warned in 2020 that his party, Forum voor Democratie, was being targeted by Russian spies, the Volkskrant reported on Thursday.
A woman who had links to the FvD also had close ties to the Russian embassy, the paper said.
Baudet has confirmed he was visited in his parliamentary offices by Erik Akerboom, then head of the AIVD security service with a ‘vague’ story. ‘He said “I want to warn you that you could be approached by Russian agents”,’ Baudet told the paper.
But he said he had not been warned by the AIVD chief that FvD people were in touch with the Russian authorities and took no action after the conversation. Nor did he apparently inform other senior party officials
Sources told the Volkskrant that the AIVD was, at the time, monitoring a young woman who was part of the FvD entourage and was a regular visitor to the Russian embassy.
The paper said that a security service investigation into a democratically chosen political party is extremely sensitive and highlights the concerns about Russian influence in Dutch politics. The AIVD has warned about the issue repeatedly in its annual reports.
Baudet is a staunch supporter of Russian president Vladimir Putin and has said repeatedly he hopes he wins the war in Ukraine.
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