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Commission floats EU-wide sanctions against Voice of Europe

by editor

The European Commission is moving to widen Czech sanctions against Voice of Europe, an alleged pro-Russian propaganda network, to be enforced across the European Union.

Voice of Europe is listed as one of four entities to be added to the sanctions list as part of the bloc’s 14th sanctions package against Russia, according to a document dated May 3 and seen by POLITICO.

The three others are Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti and Russian news outlets Izvestija and Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

The news website Voice of Europe as well as Viktor Medvedchuk, an ally of Vladimir Putin, and Artem Marchevskyi, another person involved, were all sanctioned by the Czech Republic at the end of March for an alleged pro-Russian influence operation believed to be aimed at interfering in the EU’s June election.

In mid-April, the Czech Republic and Belgium issued a joint call to have the Czech sanctions widened to the whole of the EU.

Commission Vice President Věra Jourová had already hinted on Sunday in a Czech television interview that Voice of Europe would be included.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo previously said that members of the European Parliament were approached and paid by Voice of Europe. The country’s federal prosecutor opened a probe into the case.

The proposal is expected to be discussed by EU ambassadors in the coming weeks.

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