joi, 28 ianuarie 2016

Why is Russia the great winner of the European Parliament elections?

The European parliamentary vote on May 25  left a bad taste not only for a single day, but will for next five years to come. 
It will be a difficult test, but a necessary one for the European Union to prove that Europea is still a viable political project.
Nine parties of extremist orientation succeeded in winning parliamentary seats in Brussels to the satisfaction of Euroskeptics, as well as of Moscow's. 
Approximately 140 representatives of extremist parties held almost 20 percent out of 751 seats. 
Although all the extremist parties serve indirectly Moscow's interests targeted at the internal dissolution of the EU, Kremlin's ideologists keep on having a good relationship with European extremists, especially the French that are under the political tutelage of Marine Le Pen. 
Her National Front having proclaimed it was natural for Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula, to be part of Russia, including its annexation by force, in a recent interview for the German paper, Der Spiegel, Le Pen stated that the EU shall be accountable for the events in Ukraine and that Brussels depicts Russia in bleak colors with the aim of pleasing the United States. Russian media assumed and disseminated this thesis in order to connect the ascension of the UE right-wing extremists with the Ukrainian counterpart.
Therefore Moscow advances the idea that EU right-wing hardliners have an honest message to Brussels, unlike the Ukrainian right-wing extremists who are fascists and therefore must be denounced.  The Kremlin is playing with this notion of fascism according to its own interests.
 Immediately after the European parliamentary elections, Novosti press agency wrote an article about Vernon Bogdanor, professor at the King College in London, saying that the ascension of the right-wing hardliners in Europe has direct repercussions for the expanding of nationalism in Ukraine. But the two things are not joined and this statement could be tested by simply counting and comparing the votes obtained by the European extremist parties in the elections of May 25 with the Ukrainian votes during the presidential elections that took place the same day, in Ukraine. 
In France, the National Front gained 25 votes, The Freedom Party (Austria) got 20%, The People Party (Denmark) obtained 27%, Jobbik (Hungary) 15%, The Golden Dawns (Greece) 10%. At the same time, during the presidential elections in Ukraine, Svoboda merely received 1,6%, the tenth place out of total votes, while the right Section got 0,7% (the eleventh place). Thus, the two matters cannot be associated, even if Russia tries, through media channels, to disseminate the idea of a fascistic Europe, as well as of new Ukrainian leaders that are sailing Ukraine`s ship on these troubled waters.
Notwithstanding Russia is supporting the insurgents in east Ukraine and insisting on the idea of dividing Ukraine by federalization, while is endeavoring to highlight the centrifugal movements within EU, based on Catalonia and Scotland examples. 
The governmental television, Russia Today, colors this picture about Europe too, remarking the rise of nationalism, neo-fascism and Euroskepticism. Whereas Moscow is striving to present Europe in neo-Nazi colors, the Russians protect the classic means of pressure in separatist regions such as Transnistria. In order to avoid the Ukrainian blockade, the Russian special military forces are sent to Transnistrian separatist region, via Chisinau, for several trainings and for being deployed at the Ukraine coast, in the event of an attack from this front. Otherwise, Financial Times noted that Aleksandr Borodai, the leader of the self-proclaimed `The Popular Republic of Donetsk` and Igor Strelkov, his Slaviansk counterpart met during the 1992 Nistru conflict, where they fought together against Chisinau.
In political regional plan, Russia is reckoning on the Party of the Communists from the Republic of Moldova (PCRM), led by Vladimir Voronin, in order to win the power, during the autumn elections in Chisinau. Russia also supports the party's political actions. Russia is using its influence on PCRM by means of Thaciuk wing to bring Republic of Moldova into the Customs Union, in the event of winning the autumn legislative elections. 
Thaciuk is considered to be PCRM shadow ideologist; he also keeps the relationship with all the pro-Russian associations in Chisinau and organizes PCRM political actions together with these associations. Moscow is counting on this tough pro-Russian wing, taking into consideration Vladimir Voronin`s hesitation on which side and orientation to choose. Moscow is determined not to let the dual Voronin play both sides, according to his own statement and, through its faithful party men, put the pressure on promoting the clear message of Moldova`s pro-Russia orientation.
Consequently, EU influence on the region will be eroded, after Moldova gives up its European aspirations and enters the Customs Union. 
Why is also important for Ukraine what is happening in Moldova? According to such a scenario, both Moldova and Ukraine would be enfeebled, as a regime that is politically loyal to Moscow ensured to Russian military a wider room of maneuver on Moldovan territory, a fact that is detrimental on Ukraine, a state which tries to secure as best as possible this extreme vulnerable flank from the Transnistria region. Moscow's influence on Chisinau political life may have severe repercussions for the entire security framework of Black Sea region, including Ukraine which is seeking to preserve its influence and material resources in this area. For these reasons, a weaker EU from the inside with the help of some useful idiots such as the Euroskeptics and anti-immigration types. This is only for the benefit of Moscow, in this part of Europe, which is still in pursuit of its democratic calling after the harsh years of communism imposed by the deceased USSR, beyond the Iron Curtain.
Mădălin Necșuțu is editor-in-chief of Curentul Daily Newspaper in Bucharest, Romania.
Written for Kyiv Post

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