Multiple members of the European Union’s (EU) parliament have called for sanctions against Tucker Carlson following his interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Carlson wants to give a platform to someone accused of crimes of genocide—this is wrong,” said Estonian Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Urmas Paet.
“Carlson is not being a real journalist since he has clearly expressed his sympathy for the Russian regime and Putin and has constantly disparaged Ukraine, the victim of Russian aggression,” MEP Paet said.
Paet went on to suggest that Carlson could be issued a travel ban for EU countries following the interview, which marks the first time President Putin has agreed to be interviewed by a Western journalist since Russia invaded Ukraine.
Many people in both the EU and the United States have criticized Carlson’s decision to interview the Russian president, even before the interview was released, claiming that the interview will amount to Russian propaganda.
“As Putin is a war criminal and the EU sanctions all who assist him in that effort, it seems logical that the External Action Service examine his [Carlson’s] case as well,” said Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt speaking to Newsweek.
Former Spanish MEP Luis Garicano agreed with those calling for a travel ban.
“He is no longer a newsman, but a propagandist for the most heinous regime on European soil and the one which is most dangerous to our peace and security,” said former MEP Garicano, speaking to Newsweek.
It is unclear whether those calling for a travel ban on Carlson will have enough sway to actually enact the measures, since sanctions must be issued by the EU council, not individual MEPs.
In order for the sanctions to be imposed, Carlson’s opponents must prove that he is somehow linked to the war in Ukraine.
Carlson has consistently denied claims that his interview will be pro-Putin or pro-Russia.
“We are not here because we love Vladimir Putin….We are not encouraging you to agree with what Putin may say in this interview, but we are urging you to watch it. You should know as much as you can,” said Carlson.
His claims have been supported by Russian Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who affirmed that Carlson did not use the interview to uncritically praise Putin, which has been the method of many other Western journalists when interviewing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
“It is in no way pro-Russian, it is not pro-Ukrainian, it is pro-American, but at least it contrasts with the position of the traditional Anglo-Saxon media,” said Peskov.