Growing concern about pro-Russia FvD politicians accessing classified information
There is growing concern in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of the Dutch parliament, about what information can be shared around pro-Russian politicians from far-right party FvD, newspaper AD reports after surveying several parliamentarians and other sources.
"It is an absolute top priority to keep Forum voor Democratie away from consultations in which sensitive information that affects Russia is shared. The PVV has the benefit of the doubt," an anonymous member of parliament told the newspaper. FvD leader Thierry Baudet's pro-Russia statements - even after the invasion of Ukraine - are causing increasing unease among his fellow parliamentarians.
VVD parliamentarian Ruben Brekelmans said that "alarm bells are going off" when it comes to sharing confidential information where FvD members can hear. But there is a problem with excluding the party. "Forum's position is pernicious and abhorrent. It is a dilemma because it is also a fundamental right."
Last week, GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver got majority support for launching an investigation into Russian financing of Dutch political parties. He also said that pro-Russian parties like the FvD and PVV should not have access to confidential information during this time of war. "We must not only protect ourselves against the Russians but also against interference here in the Netherlands." He asked the Tweede Kamer president Vera Bergkamp to investigate whether "groups in parliament that go along with the rhetoric of the aggressor Putin" can be temporarily excluded from access to this information.
According to AD, politicians may already be withholding information from the FvD. Last week Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren announced that news about arms supplies to Ukraine would no longer be shared publicly, now that the war with Russia is a fact. Shortly afterward, she walked to parliament to confidentially inform the Kamer. But not all MPs received this information. The Kamer Committee for Defense wasn't informed.
But people connected to the Intelligence and Security Services Committee (CIVD) were seen walking around the Kamer at the time. That committee has four members - the leaders of the largest parties in parliament: VVD, D66, CDA, and PVV. The newspaper believes Ollongren shared the information in this committee.
This is also not the first time information was held from Thierry Baudet and his FvD. At the end of December, the Cabinet secretly informed all party leaders in the Tweede Kamer about its intent to purchase the Rembrandt painting The Standard Bearer. Only FvD leader Baudet did not get a call. According to the newspaper, the Minister was afraid the FvD would leak the news.