(nudity in the video – not for watching on your office computer)
Elmar Brok is a portly German CDU MEP, and a well known character in Brussels. This video of him being accosted by a FEMEN activist poses more questions than it gives answers. I also wonder who the woman is who seems to be ahead of him while leaving the Parliament (the building is the rue Wiertz entrance to the European Parliament Brussels building). Anyway, make of it what you will…
The EEAS has a statement about the incident “All the allegations against Mr Brok are false” (via @CraigJWilly on Twitter). But do we know that anything that is alleged actually happened in Ukraine?
[UPDATE 2 – 28.3.2013]
News stories from Vremia (original | translated) and Glavred (original | translated) in Ukrainian about Brok and his antics seem to say he will be arrested the next time he sets foot in Ukraine. I do not know if these are reputable sources though. Anyone who can assist please do comment below!
@Jon: I accidentaly bumped into an article in the FAZ in which it is reported, that both the Ukrainian President and his PM, have apologised to Brok for the allegations made by the deputy general attorney Kusmin (who is the driving force behind the persecution of key figures of the UKR opposition) and deprived Kusmin of his competence to deal with international affairs. Brok has repeatedly critised the current UKR authorities for their rule of law record.
@Marko: The reaction of the Head of the EU Delegation in Kiev was made in reaction to Mr Kusmins allogations, which were published in a (local) newspaper. By the way, it is quite likely, that Mr Brok, being on a day-trip in Kiev, didn’t actually occupy a room in a hotel.
Sometimes it is better to wait and verify the story, before putting the good reputation of a political figure at risk.
The link to the FAZ article: http://www.seiten.faz-archiv.de/faz/20130409/fd1201304093845367.html
@Philipp: Let me question that: “Well the statement is quite clear on the short length of the visit and the fact that the Chairman of AFET was accompanyied at all times, as actually required by protocoll, by the Head of the EU Delegation in Kiev and other staff.” I’m sure no one went with him to his room, or? Such statements are really unnecessary from an institution’s point of view. He should be able to defend himself well.
Well the statement is quite clear on the short length of the visit and the fact that the Chairman of AFET was accompanyied at all times, as actually required by protocoll, by the Head of the EU Delegation in Kiev and other staff. So my assumption would also go to the direction of wanting to get some attention. The relations of the EU with the Ukraine under its current leadership are not undisputed both within the EU and among Ukraine opposition activists. Regarding OLAF, I have never heard even a remote rumor on this. Elmar Brok maybe a bit blunt in his expresses his views, but this is neither illegal nor immoral.
On Wikipedia: ‘On March 21 2013 in Brussels, at the European Parliament, “sextremist” Alexandra Shevchenko made a topless attack against Elmar Brok. According to Femen, Brok actively used services of ukrainian prostitutes and gave disrespectful comments to ukrainian women, during his visits in the country. Following and watching after the deputy, the activist came to meet him with the battle scream “Ukraine is not a brothel”. After the fight, one of Femen activist could leave the place but Sasha Shevchenko was arrested by police officers.’
Philipp – I agree re. the OLAF stuff. But the allegations made in the 2 Ukrainian sites are serious ones – just saying it was not possible is not enough.
Hm, I think the most odd thing in all of this is the EEAS Statement. Why did they feel obliged to issue it and how can they be 100% certain that he hasn’t done anything? I do not imply he did, but for an institution (not even his own) to claim anything in this case really is a bit arrogant.
On a different note. I think it might well just be a simple provocation to gather attention for a cause and nothing more. Brok might have been targeted as MEP and as chairman of the FA committee solely for these reasons and nothing more. I would otherwise assume that the Femen (http://femen.org/en) would already run a statement about it – however they refrain from saying anything next to their galleries (http://femen.org/en/gallery; nudity on the page).
Wasn’t he being investigated for fraud by OLAF?
Such is the character of the man!
Wasn’t he being investigated for fraud by OLAF? Such is the character of the man!
Hmm, never heard that related to him. Quick Googling doesn’t help much though…
Nick – I don’t know. I think it’s more personal than political.
Interesting if odd film. What was alleged? Was it that the EU is, politically speaking, ‘fucking Ukraine’ or that he personally was using prostitutes whilst on mission in Ukraine? I didn’t entirely understand the woman’s speech.