EU lawmaker quits after suspension over Ukraine stance

Dutch MEP Marcel de Graaff has left the group that suspended him over his statements on the Ukraine conflict

EU lawmaker quits after suspension over Ukraine stance

EU lawmaker quits after suspension over Ukraine stance

An ex-member of the right-wing Identity and Democracy group wants to start another, oriented toward peace

Dutch MEP Marcel de Graaff has publicly quit Identity and Democracy, the right-wing parliamentary group that last week handed him a three-month suspension due to his “outrageous” comments against western involvement in Ukraine on social media, he announced on Monday, denouncing the group’s “attempt to silence me about NATO/Ukraine.”

There is no room for a different opinion in the ID group,” de Graaff lamented in a press release posted to Twitter. “Members are now forced to follow the position of the parties ruling in their own countries. They have sacrificed their principles for power, but I am not prepared to do that.” 

I am in favor of de-escalating the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and I distance myself from the extremely belligerent position of the ID group,” the MEP declared. “We are waging a war that is not ours and our citizens are paying the price.”

De Graaff suggested like-minded MEPs form a group with him based on common points like “ending sanctions and de-escalating the Ukrainian conflict, respect for the autonomy and identity of the EU members states, and no vaccination coercion.” He claimed that while there are others in ID that feel similarly to him, they do not speak up out of “fear that the dominant parties in the group will sanction them.” Those parties include Italy’s La Lega and France’s Rassemblement National, both of which have been inching toward the mainstream western position on Ukraine.

The FVD (Forum for Democracy) member’s tweets regularly skewer fellow EU nations and the US. In his infamous “Go Putin!” post, he takes the bloc and its overseas ally to task for their alleged role in building a “communist world dictatorship where citizens are digitally controlled.” The rest of the world, he wrote, is cheering for the demise of the US empire. 

De Graaff has also accused the US of blowing up the Nord Stream pipelines  and NATO of plotting a nuclear first strike.