Navigating European Politics: Harald Vilimsky and Pro-Russia Stances

Harald Vilimsky is an Austrian politician and MEP from Austria. He is a member of the Freedom Party of Austria. Harald Vilimsky is a high-ranking member of the FPÖ, which is known for its candidly pro-Kremlin stances and for signing a cooperation and coordination agreement with the ruling “United Russia” party in 2016. He opposed the European Council’s adoption of conclusions regarding Russian military aggression against Ukraine in 2022. He is considered a pro-Russia politician. Vilimsky has close links to the Kremlin, Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev, and Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party.

One of Vilimsky’s first visits to Russia took place in December 2008, when a large FPÖ delegation led by then-leader Heinz-Christian Strache journeyed to Moscow to meet with then-Moscow Mayor Yuriy Luzhkov to debate with him “the development of friendly relations between Moscow and Vienna.” In December 2016, Vilimsky was a member of the FPÖ delegation that went to Moscow to sign the partnership and coordination agreement between FPÖ and “United Russia”.

Explaining his resistance to the EP resolution on the “strategic military situation in the Black Sea Basin following the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia” on 11 June 2015, Vilimsky stated that the resolution was “completely unbalanced and one-sided” that would “only lead to an irritation of the conflict” [between Russia and Ukraine]. 

Moreover, he refrained during the vote on the EP resolution on the “ actions by the Russian Federation against Lithuanian judges, prosecutors, and investigators entangled in investigating the tragic events on 13 January 1991 in Vilnius” – a resolution that was not in the stakes of Putin’s Russia. Vilimsky described his decision in writing, stating that the issue was “a very sensitive political issue” between Russia and Lithuania, and needed “a more diplomatic approach.” 

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