The New Observer
April 25, 2016
The youth wing of Germany’s populist Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) has formally linked up with the youth wing of Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party.
The move, announced Friday by Der Spiegel, will cause shockwaves among the anti-Putin Western governments and in the controlled media.
JA leaders Sven Tritschler (left) and Markus Frohnmaier (right), with Russia’s Robert Schlegel, center.
United Russia is also the ruling political party, and has 238 (52.89 percent) of the 450 seats in the Russian parliament (State Duma). Its youth wing, “Young Guard of Russia” (YGR), has established formal links with the AfD’s “Young Alternative” (JA) movement.
According to Der Spiegel, Marcus Pretzell, head of the North Rhine Westphalia AfD, laid the foundation for the cooperation when he attended a recent “Yalta International Economic Forum” in Crimea.
“His presence was a signal,” Der Spiegel reported: “Russia is no longer internationally isolated.”
Pretzell also addressed the conference, telling the enthusiastic Russian crowd that the AfD was not only a threat to the German Federal government, but also to the Ukraine,” a comment which went down well on account of the ongoing conflict between the Ukraine and Russia.
In addition, Pretzell said, “good economic relations with Russia are in the interests of the German people,” and added that the current European Union sanctions on Russia should be abolished with immediate effect.
The moderator of the conference, Der Spiegel said, announced in response, “Marcus, you have won 140 million friends today.”
On Wednesday this past week, Der Spiegel reported, Duma deputy and top official of the United Russia party, Robert Schlegel, met with JA leaders Markus Frohnmaier and Sven Tritschler in Berlin.
It was at this meeting, Der Spiegel said, that the official alliance between the two groups was sealed.
“All over the European continent, EU critical and sovereignist movements are becoming stronger,” Frohnmaier said. “It is self-evident to ensure that these activities are coordinated in a new network.”
The YGR already maintains alliances with partners abroad, such as in Kazakhstan and Serbia. According to its policy documents, it seeks the “involvement of youth in the development process of a democratic and socially just society,” followed by the “mediation of patriotism and national pride.”
A new conference between the JA and YGR is planned for June in Potsdam, organized by the Russian embassy in Berlin, Der Spiegel continued.
The YGR has previously attracted hatred from the West’s controlled media—Der Spiegel included—for holding an exhibition in Moscow in February this year which displayed all the crimes committed by US presidents.
To add insult to injury, the exhibition was designed to open on President’s Day in the US.
According to Der Spiegel, other “areas of work” of the YGR include the “defamation of opposition politicians as lesbians, gays, and transvestites.”
The links have already angered the Ukrainian government, which still claims sovereignty over the Crimea. The Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, told Der Spiegel that the AfD delegates had entered the Crimea “illegally.”
Since, he said, the German government had listed the Russian annexation of the Crimea as a breach of international law, the Ukrainian government had filed a note of protest with the German Foreign Ministry to “take all necessary steps to prevent such a violation of Ukrainian laws in the future.”