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Zdanoka Confronts Hostile European Parliament Plenary: ‘I Am an Agent for Peace’

Speaking at a European Parliament Plenary convoked to discuss allegations that she is a Russian agent on Feb. 6, Latvian EU Parliament Member Tatjana Zdanoka confronted the hostile assembly, telling them the following:

“Yes I am an agent, an agent for peace, an agent for Europe without fascism, an agent for minority rights, an agent for a united Europe from Lisbon to the Urals,” she said, addressing the plenary in English.

“And I want to apologize here and now before the people for not being a successful agent,” she added, pointing to the about-face of the EU attitude towards Russia, from being a “partner” 10 years ago into an “enemy” today. Without speaking to Russia you cannot resolve the Ukrainian conflict, Zdanoka said, before exhausting the one minute (!) allowed for her speech, when she was cut off mid-sentence.

It is EU Parliament rule that simple MEPs have only one minute allotted to speak at the plenary—faction leaders have more. But since this debate was convoked against Zdanoka, to debate “Allegations of Russian Interference in the Democratic Processes of the European Union,” it would have been a sign of democracy to make an exception and allow her more time. But the EU concept of democracy is that everyone who shares your views has a right to free speech.