Wilders defends Russia, speaks out against 'Russophobia'

Geert Wilders surrounded by bodyguards, Spijkenesse Feb 2017
Geert Wilders surrounded by bodyguards, Spijkenesse Feb 2017Photo: Peter van der Sluijs / Wikimedia Commons

PVV leader Geert Wilders wants to fight against the "hysterical Russophobia that reigns here", he said in an interview with Elsevier Dagblad. "Russia is not an enemy, and we shouldn't make one out of it", according to Wilders. He sees President Vladimir Putin as an ally in the fight against terrorism and mass immigration from Africa. 

He is planning a visit to Russia next year, to make clear that not everyone in the Netherlands averse to the Russians, Wilders said. "To show that there are also patriots here." According to him, the Netherlands can learn a lot from the Russians in terms of patriotism. 

Wilders denounced politicians who, according to him, play political games by stirring up false enemy images. Last week Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs warned of attempts by Russia to influence public opinion in the Netherlands through fake news and internet trolls. According to Wilders he wants to counterbalance "the hysterical Russophobia that reigns here and there in the Netherlands". 

The PVV leader also said that he understands Russia's feeling of being surrounded by the advancing NATO. "I am a big fan of NATO and the Americans, but here Russia has a point."

Not everything Russia does is good, according to Wilders. But he sees interests and similarities between Russia and the Netherlands. Though he adds that he will never accept loans from the Russians. "No rubles roll through the corridors of the PVV."


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