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27/08/2016

Parliament condemns Russian support for EU’s extreme right

Europe's East

Parliament condemns Russian support for EU’s extreme right

MEPs asked the EU to critically re-assess its relations with Russia.

[Global Panorama/Flickr]

Members of the European Parliament this week adopted a resolution criticising Moscow’s interference in European politics, particularly its support of certain extreme right parties. EurActiv France reports

In a resolution implicitly aimed at the French National Front (NF), the European Parliament voted on 10 June to adopt a resolution against Russian support for “radical and extremist parties in the EU”.

Bankrolling the extreme right

The French Parliament opened a committee of inquiry in May into the €9 million loan received by Marine Le Pen’s party from a Russian bank.

>> Read: ALDE wants investigation of Le Pen’s contacts with Moscow

The resolution was adopted with 494 votes for, to 135 against and 69 abstentions.

MEPs called on the European Commission to implement a system to monitor financial, political and technical assistance provided by Russia to political parties and other EU organisations.

Aggression against Ukraine

The resolution also asked the EU to “critically re-assess its relations with Russia” in response to its “aggression against Ukraine” and Moscow’s meddling in European politics.

Lawmakers denounced Russia’s “deliberate violation of democratic principles, fundamental values and international law with its violent action and destabilisation of its neighbours”.

“With its aggression against Ukraine and annexation of Crimea, the Russian leadership has put our relations at a crossroads. It is up to the Kremlin to decide now which way it will go – cooperation or deepening alienation,” the resolution’s rapporteur, Lithuanian MEP Gabrielius Landsbergis said.

>> Read: Hahn: We have some ideas how to deal with Russian propaganda

“A change in Russia can, and will, come from within. Meanwhile we must send a strong message to the Russian leadership that we stand united with the victims of its aggression and those who stand for the values the EU is founded on,” he added.

Avoiding bilateral agreements

The ongoing energy negotiations between Russia and Greece prompted MEPs to urge EU governments not to sign any bilateral agreements that could weaken the bloc’s united stance towards Moscow.

>> Read: Athens plays Russian card, eyes Turkish Stream

The resolution was adopted on the same day as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s official visit to Italy, where he was received by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.