NAKA checks extremist party for potential financing by Russia

The public television, RTVS, broke the news that the extremist party ĽSNS which has also seats in parliament may be investigated in connection with possible financing from Russia, through Belorussian businessman Alexander Usovsky.

Marian Kotleba surprisingly made it to parliament on Saturday with his far right party.Marian Kotleba surprisingly made it to parliament on Saturday with his far right party. (Source: Sme)

The National Criminal Agency (NAKA) is once again checking on the party, the Sme daily wrote. Usovsky allegedly boasted of his support for the LSNS and its chairman, Marian Kotleba, who is the governor of the Banská Bystrica Region, on German TV. However, the ĽSNS denied being financed by Usovsky, whom they allegedly do not even know.

Beginning in February, Ukrainian hackers leaked an email communication of Usovsky's, who allegedly supported demonstrations against NATO with the money of Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeev, the SITA newswire wrote on June 6.

Usovsky is said to have also supported Kotleba’s party. As the law on financing bans parties from accepting contributions from abroad, the General Prosecutor’s Office is investigating. “The material filed was given, after a thorough analysis, on June 5 to the head of the National Anti-terrorist Unit for further examination,” the GPO spokesperson, Andrea Predajňová, told RTVS.

“The People’s Party Our Slovakia (ĽSNS) takes no finance from Russia, nor from Belarus, not even from Washington or Brussels and we do not mind investigation by the general prosecutor at all – as we have nothing to hide,” vice-chair of the party, Milan Uhrík, said as quoted by RTVS.

Publicist Radovan Bránik who follows the Slovak extremist scene is of the opinion that the leaked email of the Belorussian businessman shows the enthusiasm for Kotleba’s party. “However, if the investigation is based just on the publicly known leaked documents, I do not think it will show any transfer of finances taking place,” he told RTVS’ Slovak Radio. “I think the Kotleba party have been very cautious in this.”

On the other hand, expert on right-wing extremism, Tomáš Nociar, thinks that the connection between Kotleba and the Russians is realistic. Russia is interested in supporting parties which want to de-stabilise NATO or the European union. “With Kotleba and his party, a crucial part of their agenda is criticism of the EU and NATO,” he explained, “Thus, this very feature could be of interest for Kremlin, as the relations between these structures and Kremlin are tense,” Nociar told the Rádiožurnál programme of the Slovak Radio.

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