Anti-Ukraine-Aid European Populists Back Putin

(MENAFN- Asia Times) Vladimir Putin looks to be a big winner from the far-right surge in the recent European Parliament elections . Not content with only exercising control over former Soviet Union members, the Kremlin is now increasing its support across the rest of Europe.

One significant symbol of the pro-Russia swing was the decision by the far-right Alternative for Germany party (Alternative für Deutschland – AfD) to refuse to attend Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky's speech to the German Bundestag (Germany's national parliament) on June 11, along with the populist Bündnis Sahra Wagenknecht. (Bündnis means alliance and Sahra Wagenknecht is the name of that party's leader.) Both parties oppose military support for Ukraine.

The AfD, which with 16% of the vote beat Olaf Schulz's Social Democrats party to take second place in Germany, said that Ukraine's leader needed to“negotiate so the dying stops” even if this meant losing its territory . These remarks echo Putin's stance on the war.

After the recent election, two far-right groups – the European Conservatives and Reformists and the Identity and Democracy group – now control 131 seats out of 720 in the chamber. AfD has another 15 representatives. This adds up to a significant parliamentary far-right power base, and one which will have more influence over Europe's position on the Ukraine war.

Concerns about German far-right parties being too close to Putin prompted a European Parliament resolution in April stating that the AfD must publicly declare all of its financial relationships, especially with Russia .

One might think that the alliance between a supposedly anti-fascist Russian regime and the increasingly fascist right-wing parties in Europe would not be a perfect match . But Russia inspires, encourages and funds extremist actors whether they are pro-Moscow or not. Why? Because they can disrupt other countries .


Asia Times

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