The German Interior Minister warns of increasing security risks from Russia


German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser warned of increasing risks posed by Russian hybrid warfare.

Faeser said in statements to the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, “We’re witnessing here, in fact, a new dimension of threats resulting from Russian aggression… We see attempts to impose influence through lies and misleading information on a large scale, and there is at least espionage activity as well”.

At the same time, Faeser accused the Kremlin of promoting asylum movements to Western Europe specifically, and said, “Russia also wants to destabilize the West through immigration”.

Faeser announced that the German government is preparing intensively to confront Russian influence in Western Europe in the coming months, stressing the extreme importance of protecting the upcoming elections.

She said, “We must ensure that the electoral authorities or the process of announcing election results aren’t subjected to hacking attacks”.

European Parliament elections are scheduled to be held next June, followed by regional elections in the states of Saxony, Thuringia and Brandenburg in September.

In a related context, Faeser also accused the Alternative for Germany party of being close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, which was denied by the party’s leader, Alice Weidel, in an interview with the German News Agency (DPA).

“The AfD reveres Putin and despises modern Germany,” the minister said, adding that the party had radicalized to a large extent from an anti-European party to an anti-German constitution party.

Faeser also didn’t rule out initiating ban procedures against the Alternative for Germany party, and said, “If a party wants to violently override the basic democratic system, it can be banned by the Federal Constitutional Court… If the radicalization of the AfD continues, this is a choice stipulated in our constitution”.

It should be noted that the Constitutional Protection Authority (German domestic intelligence) monitors the AfD party based on suspicion that it’s a right-wing extremist case, a decision that was upheld by a first-instance court, and is currently the subject of an appeal before the Supreme Administrative Court in the city of Münster.

In the states of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia, the Constitution Protection Authority classified the party’s activities in those states as confirmed efforts towards right-wing extremism.

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