Republican Rep. Peter Roskam and Democratic Rep. David Cicilline introduced a new bill Wednesday which condemns Russian interference in upcoming European elections.
The Keeping Russia Out of European Elections Act is a resolution which aims to show the Kremlin that both Republicans and Democrats in Congress “stand united against Russian efforts to meddle in other countries’ democratic elections,” according to a press release from Roskam’s office.
“Russia is attempting to undermine democracy and democratic institutions across the Western world,” said Roskam in a statement. “The House and Senate Intelligence Committees have launched inquiries into Russian interference in our own elections. While we await the results of that investigation, it’s important we present a bipartisan front and make it very clear the U.S. Congress strongly condemns Russian malfeasance in Europe and around the world.”
Cicilline pointed to Russia’s meddling in the U.S. presidential election last year as an example of why Congress needs to stand united against the Kremlin’s subversive efforts.
“The Kremlin needs to know that we will not tolerate their ongoing efforts to undermine our closest allies,” said Cicilline in a statement. “It’s important that the U.S. House of Representatives speak with one voice to condemn these activities.”
The governments of Ukraine, Germany, Bulgaria, France and Italy have all reported recent cyber attacks originating in Russia. With nearly 20 elections to take place in Europe this year, Roskam and Cicilline believe the risk of Russian meddling is high.
Russia has reportedly promoted some of Europe’s far-right parties and political figures in an attempt to instill a more pro-Kremlin influence in European politics. France’s Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front party, is one of the more notable candidates backed by the Kremlin. A Russian-backed bank gave a $9.49 million loan to the National Front two years ago, though Le Pen has insisted that it came with no policy expectations.
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