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Nationalists suspend aide after Russia propaganda claim

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Nationalists suspend aide after Russia propaganda claim
The suspended aide is a political secretary to SD member of parliament Kent Ekeroth. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT
16:10 CEST+02:00
The anti-immigration Sweden Democrats have suspended a political secretary following a newspaper report that he was spreading Russian propaganda, only days after a Russian-born aide in the party resigned amid claims he was a security risk.

On Tuesday, Swedish newspaper Hela Hälsingland reported that a political aide to SD member of parliament Kent Ekeroth had published Facebook posts praising Russian propaganda channel RT for being the “only channel which reports the truth”, as well as stating that Vladimir Putin is a politician who should be “bowed before” and linking to conspiracy theory websites.

On Wednesday the party said that the aide had been suspended.

“That person has made several statements which are completely incompatible with SD's position on certain questions,” SD head of press Henrik Vinge told newspaper Expressen.

SD insisted that the aide would have his access to the Riksdag premises suspended while the party dealt with the matter internally.

The event comes in the wake of a different political secretary for the party resiging after it emerged that he had made millions of kronor in a deal with a St Petersburg businessman.

The Russian-born man, who used his official Swedish-sounding name in parliament and the name Egor Putilov on his blog, said he had been forced to step down following a “hate campaign” in the Swedish media. On Friday, Sveriges Radio revealed that he bought a house from a Russian businessman in 2014 then quickly sold it on for twice its value.

Concerns that the profit may have given the Russian businessman a hold over the political aide were raised, as was the possibility that he could be a security risk.

“Several people with a high level of competence have declared a potential security risk. Therefore I think one should take the situation seriously,” Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist said at the time.

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