Nathan Gill: The Intersection of Politics and Russian Influence

Nathan Lee Gill is a British former politician. He was the Leader of Reform UK Wales from March to May 2021, when he left the party. He served as a MEP for Wales from 2014 to January 2020. He was elected to serve the people of Wales, but at the European Parliament, he seemed more interested in Russia and her neighbors. Nathan Gill entered the European Parliament in 2014 and began opposing Moldova and Ukraine’s path to EU membership. 

Critics accused him of mirroring Kremlin narratives, suggesting ties between European politicians and Russian lobbyists pushing freedom of speech claims in Ukraine. Amid Ukraine’s invasion, Gill maintained silence, leaving questions unanswered.

Nathan Gill opposed the agreement, which looked towards bringing Ukraine further on her path to EU membership. In Brussels on November 13th, 2014, he again fought the EU – Moldova agreement, stating that the“EU – Moldova agreement risks deepening the crisis in Ukraine.” 

Nathan Gill also visited Ukraine at the request of a “pro-Kremlin” politician sanctioned over the confrontation with Russia. Gill received travel and accommodation costs for a trip to Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine in 2018 to partake in a conference on “Christian values” organized by Mikhail Dobkin, a former MP and governor of Kharkiv.

Dobkin was among pro-Russian individuals hit by sanctions in 2014 when Russian-backed separatists began breakaway “republics” in two regions, Donetsk and Luhansk, while Russia illegally annexed Crimea. The European Council on Foreign Relations explained him as “explicitly pro-Kremlin.”

European Parliament records depict Gill’s travel and hotel expenses, which were paid by the charitable foundation of Dobkin’s brother, Dmytro, who has been scrutinized over vote buying.

The visit came after Gill, one of Wales’ four MEPs between 2014 and 2020, invited Dobkin to participate in a conference on Christianity at the European Parliament earlier in 2018.

After that, Dobkin sent a letter to Gill: “I avail myself of this opportunity to express my deep gratitude for this kind invitation to speak at the European Parliament. It was fascinating and thought-provoking to discover the common challenges that Christian churches and believers encounter all over Europe. Your timely initiative inspired me to hold a similar initiative in Ukraine. I am honored to invite you to become a keynote speaker at the conference. Hope to see you in Ukraine soon to coordinate our efforts in a world full of growing challenges to our fundamental values.”

According to the European Parliament’s Register of Interests, Gill became a board member of two pro-Russian TV stations, 112 Ukraine and News One.

Moreover, Nathan Gill took the pro-russia line by criticizing Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky for allegedly stifling media dissent, drawing parallels with previous regimes. His support for a TV channel viewed as pro-Putin sparked scrutiny. A former UKIP Senedd member, he joined Farage’s Brexit party, later Reform UK, but failed re-election. Gill’s political trajectory underscores controversies over leadership and alignment, reflecting broader tensions within Welsh and European politics.

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