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European puzzle: Putin and far-right groups (part 2)

Author : Mauro Voerzio

18:04, 11 May 2016
European puzzle: Putin and far-right groups (part 2)

Author : Mauro Voerzio

What is the start point for the "union" between European far-right parties and Russia? What is the ideological foundation that unites them?

18:04, 11 May 2016

112 International

It would be a great mistake to assume that the core reason for the rise of far-right sentiment in Europe is that Russia is funding all these political parties. Money could not give so much power to these parties. In turn, these parties must be supported by the public to have a seat at the table of European politics. This must mean that the voters can relate to the messages the parties are sending.

European right-wing parties perceive Russian President Putin as a conservative leader that protects traditional values ​​and opposes the "decadence" of the West. Russia is also a key to the anti-European and anti-American policy, one of the mantras of the European far-right parties. For the Kremlin, these tactics are just one of many in its policy toolbox.  

In recent years, most right-wing parties have developed friendly relations with Russia, and the leaders of these parties have been invited to Russia. This is where they had an opportunity to meet with government officials as well as boost their public image thanks to the Russian state media. These far-right leaders are talking with government officials, and at the same time increasing their credibility in the eyes of the public. Many of them were sent to Crimea as "observers" during the so-called “elections". This benefited both parties involved. At this website, you might find detailed information with unique photos of the visits made by the leaders of the far-right parties to strengthen their alliance with Russia in the last two years. 

The National Front, Jobbik, the UK Independence Party, Golden Dawn, the Austrian Freedom Party (Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs, FPÖ), Attack (Ataka) party of Bulgaria and Northern Italy are the most obvious examples. However, in recent months contacts with the British National Party (BNP), the Belgian Flemish Interest (Vlaams Belang, VB), the Italian Forza Nuova, the German National Democratic Party (Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands, NPD), and the People's Party - Our Slovakia (Ľudová Strana Naše Slovensko, L'SNS) have also intensified.

As can be seen from this puzzle, the right constellation of pro-Russian political party has a wide range of coverage, which gives them a pan-European connotation.

This rapprochement between the Russian central government and right-wing parties is based on a political calculation that is beneficial for both sides.

"Today we need new strategies to preserve our identity in a rapidly changing world, which has become more open, transparent, and adventurous. The question of who we are and who we want to be is of fundamental importance for our society. Obviously, it is impossible to go into the future without spiritualness, cultureь and nationalism. We can see how the Euro-Atlantic countries have lost their identity, including Christian values, which form the basis of Western civilization. They betrayed all moral values ​​and identity, national, cultural, religious, and even sexual values. "

This statement was made by Vladimir Putin during his speech in September 2013, which can be considered the manifesto of his neo-conservative doctrine.

Putin calls for a return to "traditional values" and highlights his strive for "national integrity." Multiculturalism is rejected, and it is perceived as a threat. Globalization is seen as a process that undermines the authority. West is shown as a decadent society.

The Euro-Atlantic alliance is not perceived as a response to these problems, but, on the contrary, is the cause of them.

The system that is ready to defend the values ​​described above will be able to come out the winner in this new global war. It requires a strong leader who will undoubtedly use force when necessary and a strong sense of nationalism in society.

Surely there’s nothing better which can be offered to a European citizen with far-right, anti-European and anti-American values?

The leader of Jobbik Gabor Vona, could not hide his emotions when he said that Europe is a sinking ship that has lost its values. He said Europeans have to get back to their roots and to reorganize their relations with other traditional cultures which exist only in the east. No doubt he had Russia in mind. In May 2013, during a conference at the University of Lomonosov in Moscow, Gabor Vona dubbed the US as the deformed children of Europe and the European Union. He called America a traitor to the European continent. Vona went on to say that Russia is more European than the US or even the EU itself. The leader of Jobbik claimed that Moscow keeps its culture intact and does not follow the cult of money. 

Lorenzo Fontana, of the Northern League, said that Putin's Russia is an example of a country with a strong national identity and family values. The leader of the neo-fascist Forza Nuova, Roberto Fiore, went even further. According to him, Russia is a model of civilization that defends Christian Europe against threats from bankers and migrants.

There is also some right-wing parties of the Orthodox countries, such as Bulgaria and Greece, where religion plays an important role in their vision of the Slavic world, as Russia is the largest Orthodox country. Putin uses to represent his country as an international defender of Orthodoxy. 

Related: European puzzle: Russia-backed European parties (Part 1)

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