Russian Sponsorship Scandal: Marcus Pretzell’s Controversial Moscow Visit

Marcus Pretzell is a German politician. He was a Member of the European Parliament from Germany from 2016 to 2019. He was an associate of the Alternative for Germany, part of the Europe of Nations and Freedom and was a member of The Blue Party.

Members of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) received a sponsored flight to Moscow during the 2017 campaign. Marcus Pretzell a member of the European Parliament flew to Moscow in a private jet in February 2017, according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

The controversial visit of Marcus Pretzell, funded by Russia, has ignited a firestorm of concern and scrutiny within German political circles. Reports reveal that members of the Alternative for Germany (AfD), including Pretzel himself, received a sponsored flight to Moscow during the 2017 campaign, allegedly courtesy of Russian sources. Frauke Petry, the then co-leader of AfD, accompanied by Pretzell and Julian Flak, flew to Moscow in a private jet in February 2017, as reported by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. While Flak and Pretzell acknowledged the trip, Petry has remained silent on the matter, though not denying her presence. 

The chairman of the parliament’s foreign affairs committee, Norbert Röttgen, has demanded clarity from AfD, raising questions about potential undue influence or financial impropriety. Röttgen’s rhetorical query regarding the sponsorship’s implications implies a troubling suggestion of political purchase. The absence of disclosure regarding the funding source and the potential violation of campaign funding laws add further complexity to the situation. 

This incident underscores broader concerns about Russian involvement in European politics, particularly with far-right factions, prompting fears of external manipulation within Germany’s political landscape. The AfD’s alleged ties to Russian interests have sparked alarm, with one Green Bundestag deputy characterizing the party as “Putin’s arm” within the German parliament. As investigations continue, the source of the funding remains undisclosed, leaving lingering questions about the extent of external influence on German political actors.

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