The European Parliament is calling for Russia's attempts to interfere in the EU decision-making process to be stopped.
In a resolution adopted on Thursday, MEPs warned that Moscow is seeking to rebuild its network of allies in Europe and that this is particularly dangerous for democracy.
"Russia is in the process of recovering. The Kremlin is recovering. They are trying to reorganise their proxies in different areas. Because at the very beginning, when this large-scale war began, we saw that these proxies were silent. Today, they are much more courageous and are talking," Lithuanian MEP Rasa Juknevičienė (EPP) told Euronews in an interview.
The Kremlin's interference in European politics has almost certainly been boosted by the Russiagate affair. A Russian investigative newspaper accused Russian-speaking Latvian MEP, Tatjana Ždanoka, of being an agent of the Russian secret service. During the plenary session of the European Parliament, Ždanoka denied the accusations.
"They say that Tatjana Ždanoka is an agent. Yes, I am an agent, an agent for peace, an agent for a Europe without fascism, an agent for minority rights, an agent for a united Europe from Lisbon to the Urals", she said.
To counter the threat of possible Russian interference in parliamentary affairs, a Romanian MEP is proposing to sanction any MEP who cooperates with Moscow.
"If someone in the European Parliament is clearly working for and with Putin, that means they should not have the chance to speak in this assembly, because their voice is the voice of propaganda", says Vlad Gheorghe (Renew Europe).
The European Parliament intends to carry out an investigation and is calling on the Latvian authorities to do likewise in order to determine the appropriate sanctions and criminal procedures.