Far-right Baudet's pro-Russia statements raising concerns in parliament
Multiple parties in the lower house of Dutch parliament are worried about pro-Russia statements by FvD leader Thierry Baudet. A few hours after Russia attacked Ukraine on Thursday, Baudet questioned whether the Netherlands' membership to NATO is "still of this time" and blamed Russia's declaration of war on the West's "tunnel vision," De Telegraaf reports.
In a video posted on Twitter, Baudet said he predicted the escalation in the Russia-Ukraine tensions. "FvD was founded when we fought against the association agreement with Ukraine in 2016," he said. According to him, the escalation in the situation can be blamed on the West, "which looks at the world form a tunnel vision, in which everything has to become American and Western. This destablizies the world, and Ukrainians are the first to suffer. But so do we, for example with gas prices. That is not good for Russia either. It is not good for anyone. The West caused this, and Russia's response now is all too predictable."
"Reprehensible and horrific," VVD parliamentarian Ruben Brekelmans said to the newspaper. "NATO offers the Netherlands a large ring of protection against Russia, so the FvD is putting the safety of the Dutch at risk."
"Totally insane, a real mess," D66 parliamentarian Sjoerd Sjoerdsma said about Baudet's tweet. "The alliance with our allies is what keeps us safe. There is not a sane person in the Netherlands who thinks we should leave NATO. Anyone who suggests doing so does not have the Netherlands' interests in mind."
PvdA MP Kati Piri: "Suggesting that we abandon our allies - and make a deal with Putin - is not only stupid and naive but also incredibly dangerous."
GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver called Baudet "dangerous to the state" and "nothing more than Putin's lackey."
Even Geert Wilders, leader of other far-right party PVV, who is usually friendly towards Russia, called the invasion "a blatant and condemnable violation of Ukrainian sovereignty" on Thursday morning. "The West made a huge mistake by not excluding Ukraine's NATO membership, but there is no excuse for a Russian military invasion." He is, however, not in favor of European sanctions against Russia.
Wybren van Haga and JA21, which split off from the FvD last year, also gave less-extreme statements. Van Haga condemned the attack and said he was against sanctions and would prefer the Netherlands take a neutral position.
JA21 MP Derk Jan Eppink called the Russian invasion "an outrageous violation of international law." The party called for sanctions. "The people of Ukraine deserve our full support."