Is Russia behind climate change protests in EU? ‘Definitely yes’, says Ukraine

(EurActiv, 18 Feb 2019) Ukraine is sure that Russia actively supports the recent protests in EU countries against global warming, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin told a group of Brussels journalists on Monday (18 February).

Klimkin, in Brussels as EU foreign ministers meet to discuss several hotbeds of tension, including Ukraine, was asked if he agreed with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who mentioned the protests after talking about hybrid warfare from Russia.

In recent weeks, secondary school pupils from Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the UK have recently been mobilising, demanding governments to take more serious decisions to stop global warming.

At the Munich Security conference, Merkel expressed doubts that German children, after years, had suddenly hit on the idea without outside influence.

In Belgium, Joke Schauvliege, a climate minister in Flanders, was forced to resign after saying she had information from the intelligence services that the schoolchildren protests were directed by an unnamed foreign power. Her statements caused public outrage. The Belgian state security services denied having reported anything about this to Schauvliege, and she had no other choice than to resign.

Asked about the climate change protests in Europe and the allegations of foreign interference, Klimkin was adamant that Russia was involved, and that Moscow’s attempts at meddling were “mind-boggling”.

“It’s a point of exchange with all our partners. Russia has been supporting stirring up trouble around Europe because Russia’s goal is to weaken up the democratic institutions and to weaken the EU as such. Climate change protests: definitely yes. Different pseudo-environmental organisations: look at Italy, where they are trying to disrupt the future gas pipelines”, he said.

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EurActiv, 18 Feb 2019: Is Russia behind climate change protests in EU? ‘Definitely yes’, says Ukraine