Domestic politician Christoph de Vries (CDU) has accused AfD MPs of unpatriotic behavior.

“Regular trips to Russia, appearances in the Russian state media, pseudo-election observation missions in fake elections and the spread of Russian war propaganda narratives suggest that a number of AfD MPs are not working for the benefit of the Federal Republic of Germany, but are in the service of Russia – paid or unpaid,” the Union politician told the German Press Agency on Saturday. “Anyone who does something like that is not a patriot, but a traitor.”

Tino Chrupalla, who leads the AfD and its parliamentary group together with Alice Weidel, rejected the accusation. He told the dpa: “As a constitutional party, the Alternative for Germany stands for sovereign national and European politics in the interests of Germany and its citizens.” The cornerstones for this are peace and good relations with other countries, especially with the countries on the European continent, such as Russia.

Accusations against AfD politicians

The Czech newspaper “Denik N” had reported that AfD member of the Bundestag Petr Bystron was suspected of having been in contact with the pro-Russian Internet platform “Voice of Europe” (VoE), which the Prague cabinet had recently placed on the national sanctions list.

He may have also accepted money, the paper reported, citing unnamed government members, one of whom in turn referred to the Czech Republic’s secret service. In a statement to the party leadership, Bystron spoke of a defamation campaign and wrote: “At no time have I received any monetary payments or cryptocurrencies from any employee of VoE (or any Russian).”

The MP is in second place on the AfD candidate list for the European elections in June. The top candidate, Maximilian Krah, also had contact with VoE. He emphasized that even the Czech secret service had not accused him of accepting money. The AfD federal executive committee wants to question Bystron about the allegations on Monday.

AfD is not on the control committee for the secret services

“The fact that even the party leadership is now distancing itself from its MP Bystron shows how close and deep the AfD’s connections are with Russia and with Putin’s Kremlin network,” said de Vries. It is therefore “an imperative of national security” that the AfD is no longer represented in the parliamentary control committee, emphasized the CDU politician. Its task is to control the work of the intelligence services. De Vries himself is a member of the secret committee.

AfD MPs who were nominated by the parliamentary group as candidates for the committee failed to achieve the necessary majority several times in this electoral period. “The fact that every member of the body must be elected with an absolute majority in the Bundestag has proven to be wise and correct because it created a security hurdle,” said de Vries.

From 2018 to 2021, the AfD was represented on the committee by the former Berlin chief public prosecutor Roman Reusch. The 70-year-old is an assessor on the party’s federal executive board. He is no longer a member of the Bundestag. The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution has been observing the AfD as a suspected right-wing extremist case since March 2022. This assessment was later confirmed by the Cologne Administrative Court; an appeal process before the Higher Administrative Court in Münster has not yet been completed.

De Vries: Protect confidential information

In the parliamentary control committee, “highly sensitive and highly confidential intelligence information is the subject of deliberations,” said de Vries. If the AfD were to be at the table there, “there would be fear that any relevant information would be immediately leaked to Moscow to the detriment of our security interests.”