A daughter of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman is working as an intern with a deputy on the European Parliament’s security and defence sub-committee, the French MEP told AFP Monday.
Aymeric Chauprade, who is also a member of the parliament’s foreign affairs committee, emphasised that Elizaveta Peskova, who is studying law in France, had no access to confidential documents.
Parliament spokeswoman Marjory van den Broeke added that “in fact, Mr Chauprade himself has never had access to confidential documents.”
Chauprade was elected to parliament on the far-right National Front ticket with Marine Le Pen in 2014, but has since fallen out with her party and considers himself independent.
“Elizabeta, daughter of Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, began her internship in November 2018” and will leave in late April when Chauprade’s term ends as well, he told AFP.
Chauprade confirmed information first broadcast on Radio Free Europe, a private media group financed by the US Congress.
Peskova cannot attend closed-door debates nor participate in the work of an EU/Russia delegation that Chauprade belongs to, he claimed.
She is paid 1,000 euros ($1,135) a month, the deputy added.
But Christine Revault d’Allonnes-Bonnefoy, a French Socialist MEP, told AFP she was “alarmed”.
“This is really shocking. The daughter of the Kremlin’s spokesman is not just anybody. I am surprised this hiring was validated by the parliament personnel service,” she added.
Chauprade was an observer to Moscow’s referendum on Crimean annexation, and told AFP: “I have never hidden that I consider Crimea to be historically Russian.”
Meanwhile, the European Union expects to be targetted, in particular by Moscow, during the parliamentary elections in May.
The Kremlin press service was not immediately available for comment on the internship.