Russia paid for a private jet for German politicians visiting Moscow
Russia paid no less than twenty five thousand euro for a flight on a private plane for three politicians from the Alternative for Germany (AfD) right-wing, populist party, reported Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).
According to the newspaper, the politicians were Frauke Petry, Marcus Pretzell and Julian Flak, who visited Moscow in February 2017. Two participants of the visit have already confirmed its details. The visit marks the first proven case of large-scale financial injections into Alternative for Germany, FAZ reports.
The politicians who were Members of the Parliament and the Land Parliament of Lower Saxony at the time of their visit to Moscow should have officially reported to Parliamentary Services the findings from their visits but they neglected to do so.
The chairman of the German parliament's foreign affairs committee, Robert Röttgen demanded explanations from the AfD. "For what Deputy of the Land or Federal Parliament would Russia send a private jet and pay 25,000 euro?” he stated. Petry and Pretzell are currently members of the AfD while Flak continues to be a member of the Party.
Earlier, Berlin strongly criticized the visit of a number of deputies of the AfD to Syria. "The Syrian regime shows every day how inhuman it is towards its own population,” said Steffen Seibert, the head of the German governmental press and information agency on March 7 in Berlin.
According to him, Syrian President Bashar al Assad is responsible for the suffering of innocent civilians. "Those who pander to this regime bring discredit upon themselves,” Seibert added.
In March, a number of deputies of the Bundestag and Landtag from the AfD met with the Grand Mufti of Syria, Ahmad Hassoun in Damascus. Among other things, politicians discussed the return home of Syrian refugees and also separation of the church and state. The AfD itself stated that it was a private visit that allowed them to "collect information on the humanitarian situation in Syria.”