Veronika Krasheninnikova: "Visits of members of AfD to Karabakh and Crimea have extremely destructive influence"
Scandalous ultra-right German party "Alternative for Germany" (AfD) continues to get involved in international scandals: its representatives Stefan Koiter and Stefan Kotren illegally visited occupied territories of Azerbaijan last week and met with representatives of the occupiers. In an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza, director general of the Foreign Policy Studies and Initiatives Institute, adviser to director general of the Rossiya Segodnya International News Agency, member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation, Veronika Krasheninnikova, talked about views of the AfD and problems that its members are creating.
- What connects AfD's views on national issue to ideology of the Nazi and neo-Nazi movements?
- Afd gathered different people, however, according to leadership of the party itself, about 40% of the AfD are part of the so-called “Wing” and its supporters. The “Wing” has far-right, neo-Nazi, revanchist views. They consider their position to be patriotic, but under pretext of their patriotism, they want to revise the outcome of the Second World War and “reclaim eastern territories”, as they say.
- Why does the party with such neo-Nazi views still exist?
- Questions about financial sources of this party have been raised repeatedly. Its leadership refuses to disclose these sources, there were already several scandals when the money came from unknown, non-transparent organizations from Switzerland, and AfD's leadership could not provide an explanation.
- What is the motivation for AfD's foreign policy line and it's visits to conflict zones? Recently, members of this party went to occupied territories of Azerbaijan, and earlier were observers at elections in Donbas and Crimea.
- Visits like that have an extremely destructive effect. Most often they sent people who don't know anything about foreign policy and historical issues. It's unclear what objective interest Germany may have in visits of its representatives to Karabakh.
When AfD deputy Markus Fronmeier traveled to Crimea as an observer, statements of this ultra-right extremist in support of Crimea and Russia only compromised Russian peacekeeping efforts in Donbas.
- What does the AfD think about Russia?
- In the historical context, it views Russia as a state and nation that brough Germany its greatest defeat, which they refuse to accept. Perception of today's Russia among the members of the “Alternative for Germany” is completely detached from reality: they see our country as traditionalist state close to the Middle Ages, where women sit at home and don't work, where there are no migrants, and where all people are part of homogeneous "white race". That's why when they support Russia in some way, they imagine Russia of General-traitor Vlasov, which only hurts Russian-German relations.
- How should Russia react to AfD's activity in Russian direction in this case?
- Although those who disagree with the official policy of authorities and are in favor of more positive relations with Russia may vote for this party, we should not forget that the AfD leadership, its ideologues, are based on distorted ideas about our country and our people. Contacts with them only compromise Russian foreign policy.
You don't have to be a part of the AfD in order to achieve positive, constructive relations with Russia - today even German Chancellor Angela Merkel has very energetic policy, promoting construction of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline, despite US pressure. Practically all forces in Germany, as well as huge business circles and almost 80% of the German population, are now calling for lifting of sanctions against Russia. We don't need AfD in order to get rid of sanctions.