Pro-Russia FvD won't attend Zelenskyy address to parliament
Forum voor Democratie will not be present for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's video speech in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of the Dutch parliament, on Thursday, the party said on Twitter. The FvD says it does not agree with a foreign head of state addressing parliament in the Kamer. The party will also not participate in the debate afterward.
According to the FvD, "immediately after such a speech by a presumably very emotionally involved president ... who will undoubtedly appeal to feelings of compassion and a heightened urge to act, is not the time for reflection." The party stressed that MPs must discuss the war with "calm and distance" in the Kamer.
The FvD's position on what the party calls "the situation in Ukraine" is "sufficiently known and has already been explained in detail," the party said. The FvD is the only party in the Kamer that has not condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In a debate about the war, other politicians accused the FvD leader Thierry Baudet of spreading "gibberish" and "Kremlin propaganda."
GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver got a motion passed calling on the Court of Audit to investigate Russian funding of Dutch political parties, prompted by Baudet's continued support for Russia and refusal to condemn the war. Though experts told television program Zembla that the Public Prosecution Service would be better for this investigation, as the Court of Audit has no investigative powers of its own and would need to rely on information voluntarily provided by the parties involved.
Many parliamentarians have wondered aloud whether the FvD should have access to sensitive information regarding the war in Ukraine. Former FvD member Henk Otten went so far as to call Baudet a "Manchurian candidate" and "a politician who is the plaything of an enemy power." But a proposal to block the FvD from Ukraine briefings did not get majority support.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times.