Veronika Krasheninnikova: "European ultra-right use the topic of Russia for their own purposes"
An analytical report by the Institute for Foreign Policy Studies and Initiatives "Identity and Democracy: Ultra-Right in the European Parliament" was presented in Moscow. Authors of the report discussed difficult political situation in one of the key structures of the European Union: nine radical parties formed the "Identity and Democracy" faction in the European Parliament, which could influence appointment of new European Commissioners, thus promoting their ultra-right agenda at the European level. CEO of INVISSIN, adviser to head of the Rossiya Segodnya news agency Veronika Krasheninnikova spoke about what this means for Europe in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza.
- What is the overall situation with ultra-right in the European Parliament?
- Elections to the European Parliament were held in May, we will have to work with these particular deputies for the next several years. Nine European extreme right-wing parties, who got to the European Parliament as a result of elections, formed the "Identity and Democracy" faction.
It's important that far-right use seemingly well-known terms, but with different meanings. For example, since racist ideologies based on rejection of other races aren't possible in modern Europe, they use the word "identity", which has a meaning similar to definition of nationality based on blood and soil, which in itself is similar to fascist ideologies.
The term "democracy" is understood by far-right as direct democracy, with destruction of parliamentary democracy that exists in all countries. Direct democracy allows radical minority to take over political process and carry out decisions through populist approaches, when solutions proposed by them seem interesting, but don't really resolve existing problem. The problems are not being resolved, but the right-wing populist parties get votes.
- What are the reasons for increase in popularity of the far-right?
- There are systemic and tactical reasons. The ruling circles of most European countries have been in power for too long and didn't fulfill promises they made to their electorate. There's no apparent difference between Social Democrats and center-right. The number of people disappointed by the ruling circles has grown in recent years, and for good reason.
The second major systemic reason is deepening economic crisis in the world. When there are less resources, the fight for these resources escalates.
As a result, the far-right get opposition votes, votes of everyone who is disappointed with the authorities. And they managed to gain a lot of votes in recent years, in most countries they have almost reached their ceiling. Moreover, as soon as there will be another deterioration in the economic situation in the world and in Europe, disappointed electorate will join the far-right in search of radical solutions.
- What problems do the European ultra-right pose for Russia?
- When representatives of these parties, known in their countries as freaks and neo-fascists, speak positively about Russia, this leaves a significant imprint on our country: "fascists love Russia." We absolutely don't want such perception.
Yes, they love Vladimir Putin, but only because they think of him as a dictator, and far-right want to see dictators as leaders of their countries. Moreover, Putin is not a dictator, Russia is a free and democratic country with strong parliament and social state.
Far-right also use the topic of Russia for their own purposes to get more votes, because most people support good relations with Russia. This is especially true for Germany, where the “Alternative for Germany” gathers pro-Russian electorate. They also have a goal to reach the international level - few people want to meet with them, and in Russia, unfortunately, some politicians don't consider it a problem to talk to them.
Overall, there are now plenty of healthy, constructive forces in Europe that support normalizing of relations with Russia and lifting of sanctions. There's absolutely no need to resort to services of the far-right and various marginal elements in Western societies - this only harms Russian interests.