Ukrainian Flag is raised at the EP building in Brussels

Halting the flow of Russian state cash for EU influence

Michiel van Hulten
9 March, 2022

On 1 March, ahead of the speech by Ukrainian President Zelensky, European Parliament President Metsola announced she would ban Kremlin representatives from entering the European Parliament’s premises. Transparency International EU welcomes this move, and we call for an extension of this ban cover to all EU institutions and agencies (except to discuss ending the war), as well as to cover state-affiliated Russian companies and actors, and those that have documented close links to the state.

We call for the following steps:

  1. Representatives of the Russian and Belarusian governments should be banned from entering the buildings of European institutions and agencies, except to discuss ways to end their illegal war in Ukraine.
  2. Russian and Belarusian sanctioned individuals, companies and organisations and their representatives, as well as representatives of companies and organisations that are state-owned, state-funded or have documented close links to the state, including any affiliates/subsidiaries outside Russia and Belarus, should be banned from entering the buildings of the European institutions, and from having any contact with officials of the EU institutions, including European Commissioners. We also call on MEPs and their assistants not to have any such contacts.
  3. The lobbying accreditation of consultancies, law firms, think tanks, trade associations etc that continue to represent the above-mentioned actors should be rescinded.
  4. All consultancies, law firms, think tanks, trade associations etc that are involved in activities covered by the EU transparency register and that have the above-mentioned actors among their clients / members should end those relationships.

Michiel van Hulten, Director of Transparency International EU, said: “The Russian government and state-backed businesses have long been splashing their cash to buy influence in EU policy making, often working with Western and Brussels-based law firms, consultancies, trade associations and think tanks to assist them in their goals. In light of Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine this needs to end now. We need to make sure that Putin’s Russia no longer has a voice in Brussels and that Russian dirty money can no longer buy EU influence.”

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Vitor Teixeira

Senior Policy Officer - Rule of Law and Civic Space