In recent days, the former Red Politician Hendrik Weber (45 years old) has met with a number of senior politicians in Russia.
Dagbladet has previously charted and revealed Weber’s relations with Russia It has close ties with politicians linked to Putin in Russia and the occupied territories of eastern Ukraine.
he is Board member of an organization supporting the invasion of Ukraine He traveled the occupied territories several times.
It stems from Russian company documents, social media posts, blog posts and regulatory documents that Dagbladet examined.
Now the ex-politician has made a trip to Moscow to meet many senior politicians and to receive the Medal of Friendship from Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko.
He wrote in a Facebook post that he was awarded the prize by the Russian authorities on September 10, 2021.
The Norwegian is among the closest to Putin
He sees no point in interrupting the connection
Weber has been vocal about his pro-Russian views for several years. Among other things, it is Known as the hero of the occupation of Crimea.
Two days before Russia invaded Ukraine, he congratulated Russia on social media for recognizing the independence of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
However, he has several times after that, including the other way around NRKHe said he did not support the invasion.
In an email to Dagbladet, Weber wrote that this was his first trip to Moscow and Crimea after the invasion.
– The purpose was to meet my friends and colleagues in the Crimea and in Moscow. In addition, it was a good chance to finally obtain the Medal of Friendship in person. I have had several formal and informal meetings with, for example, the University of Crimea to discuss future collaborative projects, Weber writes for Dagbladet.
He further wrote that he believed the invasion was not a good enough reason to sever contact with their relations in Russia and in the Crimea.
– I have cooperated with these politicians and organizations since 2016. Although I do not support everything that is happening, I see no point in interrupting communication. It is important to maintain dialogue, even if one does not agree across the board.
Among other things, Weber attended a meeting with the first deputy chairman of the Russian Federation Committee on International Affairs, Vladimir Dshabarov. Among other things, they are said to have talked about the situation in Ukraine.
in press release Congratulations Weber on the Friendship Medal.
“The Russian president highly appreciates your contribution to the development of friendly relations between Russia and Norway,” Dzhabarov said in a press release.
Produced as a parliamentarian
Hendrik Weber was elected in 2019 to be Rudd’s sole representative to the municipal council in Alver municipality in Nordland, but is now excluded from the party.
He has never been a major politician in Norway.
This is how he is portrayed in the Russian media, as he has long been portrayed as a member of parliament, according to Ever Dale of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee.
Weber is said to have been away from the Russian public for a while, before he is now pulled back again, and is referred to as a former politician.
– He receives an incredible amount of attention in the Russian media every day at the moment, as well as in channels aimed at the population in the occupied territories of the Crimea and in the Donbass. He does what they ask of him, such as appearing at meetings, so the Russians can say “Look, there are people in the West supporting us,” Dale tells Dagbladet.
According to the expert advisor, the Russian authorities have always had a “gang” of people like Weber, who are pulled out when needed. They are basically part of the publicity directed at the audience at home.
– Why do you think they brought him back now?
– It is clear that there is a need for them now, to promote positive propaganda from the West. The picture is that he is a rather important Norwegian politician who supports Putin. They don’t find serious Norwegian politicians who think so – so they make a character like him.
The State Department had previously been highly critical of the activities of Weber and his pro-Russian organization — including delegations’ trips to Crimea and the creation of a Moscow-based company to attract Norwegian tourists to the Russian-annexed Ukrainian peninsula.
– I think he is making this last trip for commercial purposes, and there is another hope that this will pay off in the long run. In this case, says Dale, the Norwegian authorities should assess whether there has been a penal code violation, and adds:
– I think they follow it.
Experts: – In the interest of Russia
The Helsinki Committee advisor believes that the former politician, also through Dagbladet’s previous coverage, has become more important than he really is.
– I think the Russian authorities are happy when Weber is mentioned in the Western media. In this sense, taking it out presents a dilemma. But the most important thing is that readers of newspapers in Russia understand that he is not the prominent person in Norway as he pretends. Unfortunately, he says, they did not get the full picture due to censorship of the Russian media.
And in Russian media, the former politician recently commented on the pressures he is allegedly under in Norway, because of his views.
Dale finds this ironic: the pressure on Webber can hardly be compared to the pressure on opposition politicians and independent journalists in Russia.
The chancellor asserts that building bridges between Russia and Ukraine would certainly have been beneficial.
– But Weber is not the builder of bridges, he is a simple Russian propagandist.
Webber does not wish to comment on this.
Rødt’s party secretary, Benedikte Pryneid Hansen, had previously explained to Dagbladet that the party was distancing itself from Weber’s activities. She also stated that Rodette was unaware of everything Weber had done in Russia.
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