EU news: Guy Verhofstadt accuses Nigel Farage of being a cheerleader to Vladimir Putin
The Belgian MEP shouted across the Strasbourg chamber at his British counterpart’s colleagues, suggesting he was part of a “fifth column” inside the European Union trying to destroy the bloc.
Mr Verhofstadt called for an end to cooperation with nationalist leaders, such as Italy’s Matteo Salvini, in order to protect the EU as it is today.
He said: “Inside the European Union we have a fifth column amongst us. I call them the cheerleaders of Putin: Farage, Le Pen, Wilders, and the friends of them are sitting here.
“In fact doing just one thing, they take money from the Kremlin, they take the intelligence of the Kremlin.
The cheerleaders of Putin: Farage, Le Pen, Wilders
“Like Arron Banks, The friend of Mr Farage, who colluded with Russians to make Brexit happen.”
“These people have only one goal and that is to destroy Europe, to kill our liberal democracy,” Mr Verhfostadt added.
Mr Banks, co-founder of Leave.EU, yesterday, dismissed accusations of Russian collusion in the EU Referendum, after reports surfaced about the millionaire allegedly holding undisclosed meetings with officials from the Russian embassy around the time of the 2016.
Mr Verhofstadt’s speech followed on from Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte, who targeted Russian involvement in the downing of Malaysian flight MH17.
Mr Rutte said: “It’s something we in the Netherlands felt in the aftermath of the downing of flight MH17 in 2014, and yet again after the decision to hold Russia accountable for its part in it.
“The EU united behind us, jointly calling for Russia to accept responsibility and cooperate with efforts to establish the truth, and achieve justice and accountability.
“We are grateful for the support and unity shown by this Union. Russia’s continued denial, its baseless criticism of the investigation and its obstruction of the truth are a stark reminder of how much we depend on all parties uniting to achieve justice for the victims and their loved ones.”
Mr Verhofstadt called on the EU’s most senior officials, Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk, to assist the Dutch with their fight for justice.
He said: “Putin not only risks with getting away with shooting down flight MH17.
“He gets away with almost everything today: cyber-attacks against Baltic states, murders in the streets of London, killing of political opponents in Moscow, more importantly, the illegal occupation of numerous regions in Ukraine and other former Soviet republics.
“It’s time we wake up. Especially as we have today an American President who is unreliable and who seems more comfortable with autocrats than with his own Western, democratic allies.”