Liberal candidate withdraws from EU elections over Russia links

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Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Liberal candidate withdraws from EU elections over Russia links
The Liberal Party candidate Alexandra Sasha is withdrawing from the EU elections. Photo: Thomas Traasdahl/Ritzau Scanpix

Alexandra Sasha, a 28-year-old representing the Liberal Party, has withdrawn her candidacy after Denmark's BT and Ekstra Bladet tabloids claimed she was linked to pro-Putin groups.


Sasha, who has a Russian background but grew up in Denmark, was a board member of the youth organisation of the European Russian Forum, which the Russia expert Flemming Splidsboel told BT was a pro-Putin "forum of influence". 

"For weeks I have been exposed to a smear campaign filled with false statements and unpleasant interpretations, which has been both physically and mentally hard, and I must now admit that I can't do it anymore," Sasha wrote on Facebook, announcing her withdrawal from the election. 

"For a long time I have from  several sides been exposed to a wide series of false claims that my campaign should be financed by Russian funds or he state, and that I am Putin's lackey," she wrote. "Of course it doesn't make sense, and it's extremely hard to go through. I have been exposed to threats, hate speech, racist remarks and extensive vandalism against my campaign. I've never hidden my roots and see that as a huge advantage to our political debate." 


Venstre's chairman, Troels Lund Poulsen, said in a written comment that Sasha had  "always expressed her full support for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people's struggle for freedom". 

"She believes that her person is now casting a shadow over our election campaign and the politics of the Liberal Party. That is why she has now chosen to withdraw from politics. I have great understanding of that, and I think it is a wise decision," he said. 

Sasha's withdrawal comes a week after Irina Bjørnø withdrew her candidacy for the Alternativet party after Ekstra Bladet reported that she was chair of an association which was part funded by a Russian state-controlled organisation on the EU's sanctions list. 



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