Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
Russia provides political and financial support to ultra-right parties in Europe to launch the process of European Union collapse. No wonder the representatives of right-wing parties of EU countries supported Putin in his actions for the annexation of Crimea.
An American political scientist Mitchel A. Orenstein claims this in his article “Putin’s Western Allies” in the influential media source Foreign Affairs. The author is an associate of the Center for European Studies and the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University.
“Given that one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s stated reasons for invading Crimea was to prevent ‘Nazis’ from coming to power in Ukraine,” states Orenstein, “it is perhaps surprising that his regime is growing closer by the month to extreme right-wing parties across Europe.”
According to the political scientist, Putin’s motives are not ideological. In Ukraine, he wants to seize the territory, which belongs to him by justice. As for the European Union, Putin hopes that the support of marginal parties will destabilize his foes and will bring politics which will focus their attention on ruining the EU rather than its expansion to Brussels.
Among these marginal parties, we could single out a Hungarian party, ‘Jobbik’, which has been taken under Putin’s wing: ‘Now ‘Jobbik’ is the third biggest party in the country and some of its supporters wear a Nazi-type uniform, use anti-Semitic rhetoric and express their concern about Israeli “colonization” of Hungary.
The chairman of the party Gábor Vona was invited in May 2013 to give a speech by right-winged Kremlin-related Russian nationalists from Moscow state university represented by Aleksandr Dugin. On the ‘Jobbik’ party’s web page this visit was described as an ‘important breakthrough,’ which clearly ‘demonstrated that Russian leaders consider the party to be their partner.’
The rumors that such ‘Jobbik’ party enthusiasm is paid for in Russian rubles does not actually seem to be news though. Moreover, the party keeps criticizing Hungary-Euro Atlantic ties and the European Union itself. Its representatives have also called the Crimean referendum ‘an example to follow.’
To Orenstein’s mind it is ‘a dangerous word in a country with extensive co-ethnic populations in Romania and Slovakia.’
The Kremlin is also strengthening its ties with France’s National Front, whose leader Marine Le Pen, has visited Russia numerous times, meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin and the State Duma leader Sergei Naryshkin. The list of European parties, which rely on Putin’s support can go on. For example, “Golden Dawn,” the Greek Fascist party, which gained 18 seats in the Greek Parliament in 2012. Its members also use fascist symbols at their assemblies, emphasize the importance of street fighting and singing the Greek version of the Nazi party anthem. Golden Dawn has never denied their close ties with Russian radicals, so this party is also considered to received funds from Russia.
The ultra-right Bulgarian party “Attack” also has close ties with the Russian Embassy. The message that Russians finance ‘Attack’ has been transmitted for many years. No wonder that ‘Radio Bulgaria’ announced on March 17th that the parliamentary group of the ‘Attack’ party insists on Bulgaria accepting the results of the Crimean referendum and Crimea joining the Russian Federation.
Therefore, no wonder that ‘Jobbik’, National Front and ‘Attack’ sent their observers to Crimea during the referendum. The same thing was done by the Austrian folk party, the Belgian party ‘Flemish interest,’ the Italian ‘Forza Italia’ and Lega Nord, the Polish ‘Samooborona,’ the German party ‘The left” and other European ultra-left parties.
The author states that the cordial relations of Putin’s government with European ultra-right radicals sit oddly, given his opposition to ‘Nazis’ in Ukraine’s government. However Putin’s dislike of Ukrainian ‘Nazis’ has nothing to do with ideology. It is only explained by the fact that they are Ukrainian nationalists.
To his mind, Russia’s support of right-wing parties is by large connected with the desire to destabilize European governments and prevent the widening of the EU, as well as facilitate Russian-friendly governments to come to power.
Among the latter, Hungary’s name appears. The amount of ‘Jobbik’ supporters there among the population grows and Viktor Orban’s government has recently signed an important agreement with Russia in the field of nuclear energy. Russia is planning to give Hungary a credit in the amount of 10 bln euro to build two new nuclear stations, which will cause even bigger energetic dependence of Hungary on Russia. In his turn, the ‘Jobbik’ party leader suggests that Hungary leave the European Union and join the Eurasian Union created by Russia.
The author states, “European parliamentary elections, which are scheduled for the end of May, are expected to result in a strong showing for the far right.” That is why Brussels strategy developers are concerned that 20% of the new European parliament might be connected with the parties, who wish for the collapse of the European Union.
Putin’s strategy includes using ultra-right extremist parties to urge to destructive actions with the further use of a formed situation (as it was in Crimea). It can be as effective in Southern and Western Europe.
The author urges European leaders to start public investigations of cases connected to the external financing of radical right-winged parties to withstand Russian plans. And if ties with Russia are found, these facts should be brought to public light. Than severe sanctions should be enforced against Russia, so that it is much more difficult for Moscow to provide such support.
In its turn Europe should reconsider the politics of strict economy, which create a greater dissatisfaction among many Europeans and makes them support right-wing parties.
The analyst states that, “Putin’s challenge to Europe must be taken seriously.”
It should be noted that the Hungarian representative of the ‘Jobbik’ party, EU Parliament delegate Béla Kovács, used to have his office in Zakarpattia.
However after his public support of the Crimean ‘referendum’ and the subsequent civil outrage and disapproval, the activity of the Béla Kovács office charitable fund in Berehove, Ukraine was temporarily curtailed. The Hungarian deputy helped the citizens of Zakarpattia formulate Hungarian citizenship and supported the idea to create an autonomous Hungarian Prytysyanske Region and put signs with runic Hungarian writing out in front of cities and towns.