European Parliament Criticized for Funding Pro-Russian Peace Association

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According to Sweden magazine Expo, the European Parliament has granted funds to a foundation, linked to pro-Russian association Alliance for Peace and Freedom (AFP).

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According to official European Parliament website grant report, a modest grant of €197,625 ($223,264) was awarded to a Swedish foundation called Europa Terra Nostra. The foundation is affiliated to Alliance for Peace and Freedom association, the document says.

Alliance for Peace and Freedom is a far-right pan-European association of parties, including the Greek "Golden Dawn" party. Three members of "Golden Dawn" have seats in the European Parliament, representing AFP on European Level.

AFP is known for its pro-Russian views. According to their official website, "When we speak of ‘peace' we refer in particular to the urgent need to counter the all-pervasive neo-con/Main Stream Media warmongering against Russia and her allies."

"We speak out against sanctions against Syria and Russia," the website says, calling those sanctions "morally wrong and counter-productive".

Stefan Jacobsson, AFP General Secretary and Dan Eriksson, President of Europa Terra Nostra, commented:

"Our business is completely legal and follows all corresponding rules. Our respective requests for financial support from the European Parliament have been examined very carefully, and since we are a democratic organization, an organization that follows the rules, [the EU] has not been able to deny us to work on the same terms as everyone else."

"Alliance for Peace and Freedom represents, through our member parties, over a million voters in the EU and also has four elected members in the European Parliament. Not to let us function in the same way that other parties do would mean that these people's voices are not as valuable as other voices, which stands in sharp contrast to the idea of democracy that Europe claims to represent."

The grant awarded for Europa Terra Nostra is the smallest among other grants awarded for 2016. The largest grant of €5,191,840 has been awarded to Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, a foundation of European's People Party.

AFP's far-right anti-globalist and anti-migrant views are being criticized, with some critics going so far as to accuse them of fascist tendencies. However, AFP is strongly opposed to "meddling and destabilisation in the Middle East" and see Western policies in the region as the main cause of crises in both Europe and islamic countries.

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