Guy Verhofstadt has urged Europe’s voters to “push back” to stop Russia from gaining power at the upcoming EU elections.
The leading Belgian MEP’s comments warning of Russia’s interference come just two days before UK voters will go to the polls for the EU elections.
The Brexit negotiator tweeted: “The evidence of European populist & far-right parties' allegiance – and debts – to Vladimir Putin has been piling up.
“With the Kremlin now fully engaged in swinging the EP election, it's up to Europe's voters to push back.”
This comes after Mr Verhofstadt, who is the former Belgian prime minister and leads Brexit talks for the European Parliament, told The Times that the rise of populism and the far-right could bring down the EU.
Writing in Project Syndicate, Mr Vehofstadt said: “Do not become another one of Putin’s puppets.
“When you cast your ballot, have pride in your European identity.
“Vote for a renewal of the European project, not for its destruction.
The evidence of European populist & far-right parties' allegiance – and debts – to Vladimir Putin has been piling up. With the Kremlin now fully engaged in swinging the EP election, it's up to Europe's voters to push back. #EUelections2019 👇👇— Guy Verhofstadt (@guyverhofstadt) May 22, 2019
“This is our chance to show resilience in the face of the Kremlin’s long shadow war against the EU.
“Now is the time to stand up for unity and democratic governance and against the corruption and compromised loyalties of the European right.”
Russia has denied any accusations of interference calling them “completely false”.
In 2015 the East Stratcom Task Force was created, which is a team of 15 people whose mission is to expose any attempts by the Kremlin to mislead EU citizens.
Read More on Yahoo News:
Head of the force, Giles Portman, said: “The evidence is being compiled for several years now that Russia has been seeking to influence European democratic processes.
"Attempts have been made to hack and leak, or to denigrate particular politicians, or to misrepresent certain policies. The best way [for Russia] to strengthen itself is to weaken its opponent."
The EU believes that Russia is trying to boost support for parties that are eurosceptic or friendly to Russia.