Ulrich Eme, a member of the German parliament from the “Alternative for Germany” party, admitted that he had travelled to annexed Crimea at Russian expense for the 2018 Russian presidential election.
This was reported by Der Spiegel.
Journalists note that at first, the politician denied the sponsorship of the trip by the State Duma of the Russian Federation. Then Eme said that the visit had been paid for by the Russian parliament, but he got to know about this “later”.
Der Spiegel notes that the deputy played the role of “election observer” in the annexed Crimea and later said that he was “surprised pleasantly” with the sufficient organizational level of the elections.
Journalists also note that such funding of the German deputy by Russia can create problems for him because Bundestag members are prohibited receiving “monetary rewards” if they need to use their mandate in the interests of the sponsor according to German legislation.
The publication also found out, that besides Ulrich Eme seven members of the Bundestag from the “Alternative for Germany” party travelled to the annexed peninsula in 2018.
Politicians have responded differently to the question of whether Russia has paid them. Some parliamentarians refused to answer at all. Some said that the trip had been “privately funded” or that it had been a “parliamentary trip”, a “business trip”.