Scholz calls Putin’s praise for the far-right AfD ’embarrassing’


German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Thursday called Russian President Vladimir Putin’s praise for the Alternative for Germany (AfD) “embarrassing” for the far-right party.

“It is shameful that you have received so much praise from the Russian president,” the chancellor said in the Bundestag, Germany’s lower house, after an argument from members of the AfD. “You worked hard for it, and the citizens will know what to think,” he added.

Putin said on Wednesday he would “work with anyone who wants to work with Russia,” including the AfD, which has been hit by a series of scandals linking its top candidates in this week’s European Parliament elections with Moscow.

At a press conference in St. Petersburg with major international news agencies, including dpa, Putin said he “so saw signs of neo-Nazism in the actions of the AfD.”

“We don’t see anything that would worry us,” he added, responding to a question about the party’s anti-constitutional tendencies.

Although Russia and the AfD do not have “systemic relations,” Moscow would support anyone who favors normal ties with Russia, Putin said.

AfD co-leaders Tino Chrupalla and Alice Weidel have both faced criticism for their visits to Russia before Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

The AfD recently reached 20% in national polls due to dissatisfaction with Scholz’s three-party coalition, but a new survey showed its support fell below 16% in the final week of the election campaign after a number of controversies.

The state-level AfD party in the eastern German state of Thuringia – as well as in the neighboring states of Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt – have been designated as far-right extremist groups.

At the national level, the German opposition party has been classified by domestic intelligence as suspected right-wing extremist.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top