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Sweden's parties warned against using foreign propaganda

Published måndag 20 mars kl 16.54
Unethical contact with foreign power very detrimental
(3:20 min)
Norlen speaking at a conference.
Andreas Norlen holds a press conference in 2016 Credit: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

The chairman of the Swedish parliament's constitutional committee has warned Sweden's parties not to benefit from Russian propaganda in the run-up to next-year's election.

Norlen, an MP for the Moderate Party, told Radio Sweden that it was the responsibility of any party whose politics aligned with the anti-EU and anti-immigration arguments pushed by Russia to make sure they did not end up repeating false information.

"I think every party in the Swedish parliament has a responsibility to make sure that the facts they use and the arguments they use are sound and valid and not just a way of repeating propaganda from, for instance, Russia," he said. 

He said that he hoped that Sweden's investigative media and climate of open debate would be enough to deter parties from accepting support from other countries seeking to affect the outcome of the election. 

"If you have unethical contact with a foreign government, a foreign embassy, you run the risk of being exposed, and that would I think be very detrimental to that party."

Norlen made his comment after Swedish prime minister Stefan Löfven warned in the Dagens Nyheter newspaper on Monday that he expected foreign powers to try to influence Sweden's election, just as it had last year's US presidential election, and this year’s ongoing election campaigns in France and Germany.

Norlen said that the Moderate Party believed Lövfen's  concerns were justified and that he was confident that Stefan Löfven was not using the issue for party political advantage.

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