12:48 GMT19 January 2021
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    Amid the anti-Russian paranoia that seems to have spread across Scandinavia recently, even alleged Russian ties can spell your downfall. A senior member of the Swedish Green Party was reported to have been fired for his purported contacts with Russia.

    While the Green Party attributed the falling out to an alleged romance with a colleague, which was becoming a problem in the work environment, the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet reported that the person was in fact fired for security concerns due to his "Russian ties."

    An undisclosed informant told Aftonbladet that the man, whose identity has not yet been revealed, worked at the Foreign Ministry and maintained frequent contacts with the Russian Embassy. Allegedly, he also tried to introduce his party colleagues to Russian friends. One of his colleagues was said to have reacted strongly and blew the whistle to his boss about the man's acquaintances. As was reported, the purpose of the Russian contacts was to get the Green Party to change its attitude to Russia and adopt a friendlier policy towards Russia. Together with fears that he could leak valuable information to Russia, this prompted the Green Party leadership to get rid of him.

    Parliamentary documents showed that the man's tenure ended in August 2015, when his access cards and passwords were deactivated. In December the same year the man was said to have left the party politics. In a subsequent interview with Aftonbladet, the man said he quit because he did not get the job he had sought, calling the Russian allegations "bulls*it."

    However, Aftonbladet claimed that the man was involved in a controversy surrounding the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline and Sweden's possible role in it. The man was claimed to have sent an e-mail from his private address to Green Party members on the Swedish island of Gotland, in an alleged attempt to facilitate a lease of the Slite port for storage purposes.

    At that time the question of Slite port's future was red hot, and the municipality was looking forward to a lucrative contract with the Russians in an attempt to strengthen the employment situation, yet was forced to backtrack by the Swedish government that cited security risks in connection with the Russian project.

    "There's nothing fishy in it, the Green Party has no interest in Russia obtaining a stronger position on Gotland. On the contrary, our attempts have been directed at strengthening the Coast Guard," Isabel Enström from the Gotland Regional Council told Aftonbladet.

    Previously, Gotland, Sweden's largest Baltic island with a population of 57,000 was identified by Swedish defense experts as a potential entry point for Russian "aggression."

    Sputnik tried to reach the Swedish Green Party for a comment, but has not heard back.

    This is not the first case of "Russian ties" crushing a political career. In September 2016, a Russian-born political secretary for the Sweden Democrats Party was forced to resign after allegedly making several million kronor in a property deal with a St Petersburg businessman. The man, who uses his official Swedish-sounding name in parliament and the Russian pseudonym Egor Putilov as a web handle, said he had been forced to step down following a "hate campaign in the media that is probably unparalleled in Swedish media history."

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    Scandinavia, Gotland Island, Sweden, Russia
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