Monday

22nd Jan 2018

Farage and Le Pen unite on Russia report

  • Le Pen and Farage both praise Putin (Photo: europarl.europa.eu)

Britain’s Ukip and France’s National Front teamed up with other anti-EU parties to vote against a Russia-critical resolution at the European Parliament on Wednesday (10 June).

The non-binding report, by centre-right Lithuanian MEP Gabrielius Landsbergis, passed anyway by 494 votes against 135 with 69 abstentions.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

It raises the alarm over what it calls the emergence of a new “Nationalist International”.

It says the European Parliament is “deeply concerned at the ever more intensive contacts and co-operation, tolerated by the Russian leadership, between European populist, fascist, and extreme right-wing parties on the one hand and nationalist groups in Russia”.

It calls the Russia-backed bloc “a danger to democratic values and the rule of law in the EU”.

It also “calls on the [European] Commission to propose legislation forbidding financing of political parties in the EU by political or economic stakeholders outside the EU”.

French investigative reporters last November revealed the National Front received at least €9 million in loans from a Kremlin-linked bank.

German media and the Austrian opposition say the anti-euro AfD party in Germany and the far-right FPO party in Austria are also being financed by Russia, in allegations they deny.

The far-right Jobbik party in Hungary is facing criminal probes on similar grounds.

The parties regularly speak out in favour of Russia at home and in the EU assembly.

They send delegates to far-right seminars organised by Russian oligarchs in Austria, Germany, and Russia.

Some of them have also sent observers to monitor separatist votes in Russia-occupied Ukraine.

The 135 No votes on Wednesday came from the Ukip-led Europe of Freedom and Democracy group, from non-group far-right parties, from the far-left Gue faction, an old friend of Russia, and from a handful of Socialist rebels.

Eurosceptic parties did better than ever in last year's EU elections.

Ukip has declined to formally team up with Marine Le Pen’s National Front, which has a bad image in the UK.

But its leader, Nigel Farage, has, like Le Pen, praised Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The party’s deputy leader, Paul Nuttall, said its opposition to the Landsbergis text was on grounds of national sovereignty rather than Russia or Le Pen loyalties.

“Ukip does not support interference by the European Commission in any aspect of funding for British political parties. Ukip supports the laws which are already in place in Britain which prohibit foreign funding of political parties”, he noted.

In other provisions, the Landsbergis report says EU economic sanctions on Russia should stay in place until it withdraws from east Ukraine.

It calls on the EU to propose additional sanctions on Russian officials linked to the killing of anti-corruption activist Sergei Magnitsky.

It notes that Moscow “can no longer be treated as, or considered, a 'strategic partner’.”

It also urges the European Commission to fund "concrete projects aimed at countering Russian propaganda and misinformation".

Focus

EU elections may strengthen Putin in Europe

Far-right parties are set to do well in next month’s elections to the European Parliament, a fact that has thrown a spotlight on their links with the Kremlin.

Catalonia prepares for rule by Skype

The two biggest parties in Catalonia have vowed to put Puigdemont back in office despite Madrid's threat to maintain direct rule.

News in Brief

  1. Abbas in Brussels to discuss Palestinian state recognition
  2. Exiled Catalan leader leaves Belgium for first time
  3. CSU politicians set to oppose concessions to SPD
  4. Greek mass protests against use of 'Macedonia' in name dispute
  5. Oxfam report reveals inequality as Davos elite gather
  6. Macron: France would probably have voted to quit EU
  7. Germany confirms attendance at air quality summit
  8. Nearly half of 'fixed' Dieselgate cars show problems

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Solutions for Sustainable Cities: New Grants Awarded for Branding Projects
  2. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersOresund Inspires Other EU Border Regions to Work Together to Generate Growth
  4. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  5. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Calls on EU to Sanction Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Expel Ambassadors
  6. Dialogue PlatformRoundtable on "Political Islam, Civil Islam and The West" 31 January
  7. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement and Same-Sex Couples in Romania – Case Update!
  8. EU2017EEEstonia Completes First EU Presidency, Introduced New Topics to the Agenda
  9. Bio-Based IndustriesLeading the Transition Towards a Post-Petroleum Society
  10. ACCAWelcomes the Start of the New Bulgarian Presidency
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li and President Tusk Stress Importance of Ties at ASEM Summit
  12. EU2017EEVAT on Electronic Commerce: New Rules Adopted

Latest News

  1. Middle East, Messi and missing MEPs on the agenda This WEEK
  2. Instagram and Google Plus join EU anti-hate speech drive
  3. EU wants 'entrepreneurship' in education systems
  4. UK loses EU satellite centre to Spain
  5. Pay into EU budget for market access, Macron tells May
  6. Ethiopian regime to get EU migrants' names
  7. EU to lend Greece up to €7bn more next week
  8. Nato prepares to take in Macedonia