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Europe begins to struggle with "pro-Russian dissent"

Europe begins to struggle with "pro-Russian dissent"

March 30 2018 LJ cover – Европа начинает борьбу с «пророссийским инакомыслием»
Tags: Europe, EU, Politics, Sanctions, Russia, Analytics

Austria's refusal to expel Russian diplomats was perceived in Europe and Britain as a real rebellion against the solidarity of the West. Austria is not the only EU country that retains sympathy for Moscow, and they have reasons to go against Brussels. However, the European officials are preparing new methods to combat "pro-Russian dissent".

Австрия изъявила желание стать посредником между Великобританией и Россией в диалоге по делу Скрипаля. Об этом заявила министр иностранных дел страны Карин Кнайсль. Она напомнила, что Австрия «в 1995 году вступила в ЕС как государство с нейтральным статусом», поэтому является «контактным лицом для всех участников».

Kneisl stressed that Austria will not resort to the expulsion of Russian diplomats, "because in critical situations it is extremely necessary to preserve channels for dialogue." If Russia's guilt in poisoning Skripal and his daughter is proved, then "on the basis of the convention on the prohibition of chemical weapons, a mechanism for the adoption of multilateral actions can be developed," Knyazl said. In other words, Vienna actually indirectly stated that Austria believes that all accusations against Russia have not yet been proven.

За такую позицию Вена подверглась жесткому давлению и критике. Как отметила Кнайсль, британский посол несколько раз пытался добиться изменения позиции Австрии. Кроме того, различные европейские политики активизировали нападки на Вену в своих выступлениях и постах в соцсетях. Так, дипломаты из Британии и других стран «единой Европы» в Сети заявили, что «Австрия сжигает мосты» и «нейтралитет Австрии несовместим с членством в ЕС». Позиция Австрии в деле Скрипаля «абсурдна, в конечном счете речь идет о солидарности со страной ЕС, в которой, очевидно, по приказу России совершена попытка отравления», – приводит Deutsche Welle слова члена германского «Христианско-демократического союза» (ХДС), депутата Европарламента Эльмара Брока. Другой евродепутат от ХДС Дэвид Макаллистер указал, что Австрия наравне со всеми государствами Евросоюза должна продемонстрировать полную солидарность с Великобританией.

In addition to Austria, Luxembourg, Greece, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Slovakia, Cyprus, Malta and Portugal did not take such anti-Russian measures, the NATO country Turkey also expressed a strong refusal to participate.

В симпатиях к России в Европе уличили и другие страны. Британский журналист Джон Ллойд на страницах Irish Examiner заявил, что Италия будет «самым влиятельным элементом в группе пророссийских европейских политиков, к числу которых можно также отнести премьер-министра Венгрии Виктора Орбана, премьер-министра Греции Алексиса Ципраса, лидера французской партии «Национальный фронт» Марин Ле Пен и руководство немецкой «Альтернативы для Германии».

The Briton indicated that, following the results of the last parliamentary elections, the overwhelming majority of votes received "populist-nationalist" parties that "openly adhere to pro-Russian views", in particular the Five Stars and the League of the North. In the event of unification, he will own three-quarters of the entire electorate, and the country will become "the largest Russophile democracy in Europe," the journalist warned.

Раньше взвешенную политику в отношении России вела и Германия. Особенное потепление наблюдалось, когда вскрылись факты прослушки американскими спецслужбами телефона немецкого канцлера Ангелы Меркель. Однако несмотря на то, что в некоторых вопросах, как, например, по газопроводу «Северный поток – 2», некоторое соприкосновение интересов РФ и ФРГ еще сохраняется, в целом Берлин занимает все более и более антироссийскую позицию. Так, в четверг Меркель и премьер-министр Великобритании Тереза Мэй в телефонном разговоре сошлись на необходимости продолжать совместную работу по «противостоянию усилившейся агрессии со стороны России».

Thus, the sympathizing with Russia camp in the European Union after the case of Skripal is waiting for change. Moscow sympathies are now expressed by "southerners" - Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Malta, as well as the Czech Republic with the "pro-Russian government" and Austria, which wants to become the new bridge between the EU and Russia, told the newspaper VZGLYAD German political scientist Alexander Rahr . "This is explained by the fact that in these countries there are no geopolitical ambitions towards Russia," he said.

However, some of these countries were forced to cede under the onslaught of Britain and the United States. As the Italian publicist, former member of the European Parliament Julietto Chiesa stressed in the commentary to the newspaper, at the moment, Austria and Italy are the most active countries in the Russophile camp.

Italy is a longtime supporter of Russia, and although she sent two Russian diplomats, that does not mean that she changed her position, Chiesa stressed. According to him, this was done under pressure from the United Kingdom and the United States, while Rome himself did not want to do this. "At the same time, we do not have a government yet, and no one knows when it will be formed," the source said, stressing that because of this the Italian policy is still in limbo. In this regard, Chiesa believes that at the moment it is Austria that is the leader of the pro-Russian camp in Europe.

Rahr also believes that the main Russophile in Europe in fact is now not Austria and not Italy, but Greece. According to the expert, the two countries of the "old West" of Europe and the US simply will not be allowed to conduct an independent pro-Russian agenda (as we saw in the Italian example), while Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at the congress in Brussels "openly criticized the British position, saying that she does not satisfy him. " "So far, Greece is the only country that can go against the anti-Russian policy. In addition, the country has great cultural and religious ties with Russia, "the source said.

Vienna, Rome and Athens do not go against Britain, because they feel the pressure of public opinion, and ordinary Europeans sympathize with Russia and its leader Vladimir Putin, Chiesa stressed. In addition, the ex-MEP noted that in Austria, Greece and Italy there is an understanding that cooperation with Russia is much more profitable than confrontation.

However, the European Union is actively fighting dissent. "Now the countries that express sympathy for Russia have no opportunities to increase their influence. The European bureaucracy will now change the rules of the game. In particular, he will try to press the norms, according to which the vote on foreign policy and security in the EU will be by a majority, not by consensus.

This innovation is necessary in order to win the majority, but for the time being the majority is against anti-Russian rhetoric, "Rar said.

The political scientist is sure that Moscow acted wisely, not reacting rigidly to the actions of the EU. "No power tricks are needed. Many already understand that the decision is taken from scratch - without facts, evidence. Against this background, the situation can calm down. And Russia can help the EU countries that sympathize with it, gently proving its rightness, "he explained.

Marina Baltacheva, Anna Baykova
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