State of EU-Russia relations: A brief analysis of the EP vote

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2015/06/11 • Politics

Article by: Anton Shekhovtsov

On 10 June 2015, the European Parliament adopted a resolution “on the state of EU-Russia relations“. It is a strong resolution that condemns the illegal annexation of Crimea and Russia’s war against Ukraine, as well as reminding that Russia is “directly or indirectly, involved in a number of ‘frozen conflicts’ in its neighbourhood – in Transnistria, South Ossetia, Abkhasia and Nagorno Karabakh”.

Importantly, the resolution states that “at this point Russia […] can no longer be treated as, or considered, a ‘strategic partner’”.

In the context of this blog, I am happy to say that the European Parliament raises concerns directly related to the themes regularly discussed here, namely the cooperation between Putin’s Russia and the Western far right:

Is deeply concerned at the ever more intensive contacts and cooperation, tolerated by the Russian leadership, between European populist, fascist and extreme right-wing parties on the one hand and nationalist groups in Russia on the other; recognises that this represents a danger to democratic values and the rule of law in the EU; calls in this connection on the EU institutions and Member States to take action against this threat of an emerging ‘Nationalist International’;

Is deeply concerned with Russia´s support for and financing of radical and extremist parties in the EU Member States; considers a recent meeting in St Petersburg of the far right parties an insult to the memory of millions of Russians who sacrificed their lives to save the world from Nazism;

As could be expected and was demonstrated before, the overwhelming majority of the votes against the resolution has come from the far right, eurosceptic and (far) left parties. A graph showing the number of MEPs that voted against the resolution, as well as the percent of those that voted against it from the total number of MEPs, is below.

On a map, the situation looks like this:

Here is the full list of MEPs who gave voted against the resolution.

Country/MEP
Party
Ideological orientation
Austria
Barbara KAPPEL
FPÖ
radical right-wing
populism
Georg MAYER
FPÖ
radical right-wing populism
Franz OBERMAYR
FPÖ
radical right-wing populism
Harald VILIMSKY
FPÖ
radical right-wing populism
Bulgaria
Iliana IOTOVA
Bulgarian Socialist Party
socialism
Momchil NEKOV
Bulgarian Socialist Party
socialism
Georgi PIRINSKI
Bulgarian Socialist Party
socialism
Cyprus
Takis HADJIGEORGIOU
Progressive Party of
Working People – Left – New Forces
communism
Neoklis SYLIKIOTIS
Progressive Party of
Working People – Left – New Forces
communism
Czech Republic
Jan KELLER
Česká strana sociálně
demokratická
social democracy
Kateřina KONEČNÁ
Komunistická strana
Čech a Moravy
communism
Petr MACH
Strana svobodných občanů
euroscepticism
Jiří MAŠTÁLKA
Komunistická strana
Čech a Moravy
communism
Miloslav RANSDORF
Komunistická strana
Čech a Moravy
communism
Denmark
Rina Ronja KARI
Folkebevægelsen mod
EU
euroscepticism
Estonia
Yana TOOM
Eesti Keskerakond
social liberalism
France
Louis ALIOT
Front national
radical right-wing
populism
Marie-Christine
ARNAUTU
Front national
radical right-wing
populism
Nicolas BAY
Front national
radical right-wing
populism
Joëlle BERGERON
Independent
Independent
Dominique BILDE
Front national
radical right-wing
populism
Marie-Christine
BOUTONNET
Front national
radical right-wing
populism
Steeve BRIOIS
Front national
radical right-wing
populism
Aymeric CHAUPRADE
Front national
radical right-wing
populism
Mireille D’ORNANO
Front national
radical right-wing
populism
Edouard FERRAND
Front national
radical right-wing
populism
Sylvie GODDYN
Front national
radical right-wing
populism
Bruno GOLLNISCH
Front national
radical right-wing
populism
Jean-François JALKH
Front national
radical right-wing
populism
Patrick LE HYARIC
Front de Gauche
communism
Marine LE PEN
Front national
radical right-wing
populism
Gilles LEBRETON
Souveraineté,
Indépendance et Libertés
euroscepticism
Philippe LOISEAU
Front national
radical right-wing
populism
Dominique MARTIN
Front national
radical right-wing
populism
Bernard MONOT
Front national
radical right-wing
populism
Sophie MONTEL
Front national
radical right-wing
populism
Jean-Luc MÉLENCHON
Front de Gauche
communism
Joëlle MÉLIN
Front national
radical right-wing
populism
Younous OMARJEE
L’union pour les
Outremer
left-wing radicalism
Florian PHILIPPOT
Front national
radical right-wing
populism
Jean-Luc
SCHAFFHAUSER
Rassemblement bleu
Marine
radical right-wing
populism
Mylène TROSZCZYNSKI
Front national
radical right-wing
populism
Marie-Christine
VERGIAT
Front de Gauche
communism
Germany
Fabio DE MASI
Die Linke
socialism
Cornelia ERNST
Die Linke
socialism
Thomas HÄNDEL
Die Linke
socialism
Sabine LÖSING
Die Linke
socialism
Martina MICHELS
Die Linke
socialism
Marcus PRETZELL
Alternative für
Deutschland
euroscepticism
Helmut SCHOLZ
Die Linke
socialism
Udo VOIGT
Nationaldemokratische
Partei Deutschlands
neo-Nazism
Beatrix von STORCH
Alternative für
Deutschland
euroscepticism
Hermann WINKLER
Christlich Demokratische
Union Deutschlands
conservatism
Gabriele ZIMMER
Die Linke
socialism
Greece
Kostas CHRYSOGONOS
Coalition of the
Radical Left
left-wing radicalism
Georgios EPITIDEIOS
Popular Association
– Golden Dawn
neo-Nazism
Emmanouil GLEZOS
Coalition of the
Radical Left
left-wing radicalism
Stelios KOULOGLOU
Coalition of the
Radical Left
left-wing radicalism
Kostadinka KUNEVA
Coalition of the
Radical Left
left-wing radicalism
Notis MARIAS
Independent Greeks
radical right-wing
populism
Konstantinos PAPADAKIS
Communist Party of Greece
communism
Dimitrios PAPADIMOULIS
Coalition of the
Radical Left
left-wing radicalism
Sofia SAKORAFA
Coalition of the
Radical Left
left-wing radicalism
Eleftherios SYNADINOS
Popular Association –
Golden Dawn
neo-Nazism
Sotirios ZARIANOPOULOS
Communist Party of Greece
communism
Hungary
Zoltán BALCZÓ
Jobbik
radical right-wing
populism
Béla KOVÁCS
Jobbik
radical right-wing
populism
Krisztina MORVAI
Jobbik
radical right-wing
populism
Ireland
Luke Ming FLANAGAN
Independent
Independent
Italy
Isabella ADINOLFI
Movimento 5 Stelle
euroscepticism
Marco AFFRONTE
Movimento 5 Stelle
euroscepticism
Laura AGEA
Movimento 5 Stelle
euroscepticism
Daniela AIUTO
Movimento 5 Stelle
euroscepticism
Tiziana BEGHIN
Movimento 5 Stelle
euroscepticism
Mara BIZZOTTO
Lega Nord
radical right-wing
populism
Mario BORGHEZIO
Lega Nord
radical right-wing
populism
Gianluca BUONANNO
Lega Nord
radical right-wing
populism
Fabio Massimo
CASTALDO
Movimento 5 Stelle
euroscepticism
Ignazio CORRAO
Movimento 5 Stelle
euroscepticism
Rosa D’AMATO
Movimento 5 Stelle
euroscepticism
Eleonora EVI
Movimento 5 Stelle
euroscepticism
Laura FERRARA
Movimento 5 Stelle
euroscepticism
Lorenzo FONTANA
Lega Nord
radical right-wing
populism
Eleonora FORENZA
Lista
Tsipras-L’Altra Europa
social democracy
Curzio MALTESE
Lista
Tsipras-L’Altra Europa
social democracy
Piernicola PEDICINI
Movimento 5 Stelle
euroscepticism
Matteo SALVINI
Lega Nord
radical right-wing
populism
Remo SERNAGIOTTO
Forza Italia
conservatism
Barbara SPINELLI
Lista
Tsipras-L’Altra Europa
social democracy
Dario TAMBURRANO
Movimento 5 Stelle
euroscepticism
Marco VALLI
Movimento 5 Stelle
euroscepticism
Marco ZANNI
Movimento 5 Stelle
euroscepticism
Marco ZULLO
Movimento 5 Stelle
euroscepticism
Latvia
Andrejs MAMIKINS
“Saskaņa”
sociāldemokrātiskā partija
social democracy
Tatjana ŽDANOKA
Latvijas Krievu
savienība
social democracy
Netherlands
Dennis de JONG
Socialistische
Partij
social democracy
Vicky MAEIJER
Partij voor de
Vrijheid
right-wing populism
Anne-Marie MINEUR
Socialistische
Partij
social democracy
Olaf STUGER
Partij voor de
Vrijheid
right-wing populism
Poland
Robert Jarosław
IWASZKIEWICZ
Nowa Prawica-Janusza
Korwin-Mikke
euroscepticism
Janusz KORWIN-MIKKE
Nowa Prawica-Janusza
Korwin-Mikke
euroscepticism
Michał MARUSIK
Nowa Prawica-Janusza
Korwin-Mikke
euroscepticism
Stanisław ŻÓŁTEK
Nowa Prawica-Janusza
Korwin-Mikke
euroscepticism
Portugal
João FERREIRA
Coligação
Democrática Unitária
left-wing radicalism
Spain
Marina ALBIOL GUZMÁN
Izquierda Unida
communism
Javier COUSO PERMUY
Izquierda Unida
communism
Tania GONZÁLEZ PEÑAS
Podemos
socialism
Pablo IGLESIAS
Podemos
socialism
Paloma LÓPEZ BERMEJO
Izquierda Unida
communism
Lola SÁNCHEZ
CALDENTEY
Podemos
socialism
Estefanía TORRES
MARTÍNEZ
Podemos
socialism
Miguel URBÁN CRESPO
Podemos
socialism
Ángela VALLINA
Izquierda Unida
communism
United Kingdom
William (The Earl
of) DARTMOUTH
UKIP
euroscepticism
John Stuart AGNEW
UKIP
euroscepticism
Tim AKER
UKIP
euroscepticism
Jonathan ARNOTT
UKIP
euroscepticism
Janice ATKINSON
UKIP
euroscepticism
Gerard BATTEN
UKIP
euroscepticism
Louise BOURS
UKIP
euroscepticism
James CARVER
UKIP
euroscepticism
David COBURN
UKIP
euroscepticism
Jane COLLINS
UKIP
euroscepticism
Bill ETHERIDGE
UKIP
euroscepticism
Nigel FARAGE
UKIP
euroscepticism
Raymond FINCH
UKIP
euroscepticism
Nathan GILL
UKIP
euroscepticism
Roger HELMER
UKIP
euroscepticism
Mike HOOKEM
UKIP
euroscepticism
Diane JAMES
UKIP
euroscepticism
Paul NUTTALL
UKIP
euroscepticism
Patrick O’FLYNN
UKIP
euroscepticism
Julia REID
UKIP
euroscepticism
Jill SEYMOUR
UKIP
euroscepticism
Steven WOOLFE
UKIP
euroscepticism

The vote, however, has brought some surprises too.

1. Belgian MEP Gerolf ANNEMANS from the far right Vlaams Belang abstained, although he used to vote against the resolutions critical of Russia’s actions.

2. MEPs from the far right Sweden Democrats party, Peter LUNDGREN and Kristina WINBERG, abstained and, thus, rebelled against their Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group that voted against the resolution.

Source: Anton Shekhovtsov’s blog

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  • Nowhere Girl

    It’s really troubling when even fairly ordinary leftist parties support Russia. I can see an example of this on a “micro-scale”. I have a friend who is much younger than me (19 years old this year, so almost a child…) and a convinced socialist. I would describe myself rather as social-liberal, a little to the right compared to socialism (I’m also strongly anti-Soviet, I believe that true, modern left should distance itself from that horrible “experiment”). Anyway, she is an example of the left’s pro-Russian bias: I have a hard time trying to convince her that in Ukraine no one is banning people from speaking Russian or attacking ordinary Russians, that far-right parties have very little support, clearly not “much more than in the rest of Europe”, as she thought. It’s still as if many people with leftist views – even in their moderate, social democratic variant – believe that Russia, due to the history of the “state of the workers and peasants”, remains a triumphantly leftist country. This is incomprehensible – today’s Russia is definitely not socialist, but bordering on fascism.

    • Czech Friend

      I think the “border” has been crossed, pun intended.

  • Czech Friend

    Just goes to show how Nazis and Commies are simply two sides of one coin. Tragic history of my country and our whole region proves that.

    But it is a great litmus test of a character let me tell you, those who dare support Putin even today, they cannot lie they didn’t know for they know far too well in this day and age.

    Note: there’s a Czech guy Jan Keller who is in EP for Social Democrats but he is in fact a pure commie, a disgusting spineless individual, needless to say deeply antiamerican.

    When asked why he as a young guy in academia didn’t join the dissident movement in 1980s Czechoslovakia he claims to have had symphatised with he began to whine about how tough it was in his northern region unlike Prague to be active against regime.

    Pure bollocks and lies of one nasty commie.

    Just want to demonstrate the low moral profile of these cowards and nasty bolsheviks. I’m sure vast majority of those on the list share similar outlook and “attitude”.

    • Nowhere Girl

      Indeed, because “left” and “right” are just simplifications, just general ideas. A good distribution of the political spectrum should include at least two dimensions: personal liberty and economic liberty. In such a spectrum it shows that there’s very little difference between nazism and communism – nazism is economically a bit more “liberal”, Italian facism perhaps yet some more – and that’s all, what unifies these ideologies is that this economic difference isn’t great and personal liberty is close to none in both kinds of regimes.
      I once had a teacher who had right-wing views and so he was trying to convince us that nazism (“national socialism”, indeed – and it clearly DID borrow some leftist vocabulary) was actually a left-wing ideology, not “extreme right”. I’d say it’s neither, such problems only highlight the fact that “political left and right” are just handy concepts which don’t always work (especially in case of extremes, but also for example in case of libertarianism, which is also hard to pin on the simplified left-right spectrum).

      • Czech Friend

        it is true with the far right branding very often. I wonder if it could be down to leftists having captured the academia especially in the West.

        We have a neo-nazi party called Workers Party of Social Justice. They couldn’t be more “left” yet are still being labelled as far right extremists. While to me such defintion belongs to anarchists if anyone.

        Oh well, just keep them all in check, bastards.

        If anything far right

  • Michel Cloarec

    EU/ Russia relations votes : 82 % of all deputies voted for the resolutions.
    Strong majority , better than what putin can do in election (routine)
    Front National is on the take from putin bank, other also . They must vote for the one supplying the funds for their survival.

  • Hervé Trofimoff

    Very good analysis. The french Front National is sponsored by Putin. No wonders that it voted againt the EP resolution to ban Russia

  • http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/ Bu Buccaneer

    It’s nice to see that if not for the Korwin-Mikke wackos there would be zero representatives from Poland voting against the resolution.

  • Martin Pánek

    Just skimming through the actual text of the resolution:

    “Stresses that at this point Russia, because of its actions in Crimea and in Eastern Ukraine, can no longer be treated as, or considered, a ‘strategic partner’” Yep, it’s surely better to start a war with them.

    “Reiterates its call on the EU and its Member States to make full use of the provisions and instruments of the Lisbon Treaty, with a view to reinforcing the forward-looking and strategic nature of the European common foreign and security policy; is furthermore of the firm conviction that the central role of human rights in every aspect of the external action of the EU is a prerequisite for ensuring its respected and credible role as a global actor;”

    Some people, for reasons not related to Russia or Ukraine at all don’t want a “European common foreign and security policy”

    “Reiterates its conviction that energy policy is a significant element of EU external policy; firmly supports, therefore, the swift creation of a robust European Energy Union”

    Same with an Energy Union.

    “Renews its call for the development of strengthened analytical and monitoring capabilities of Russian propaganda, especially in the Russian language, in order to be able to identify, and respond swiftly and appropriately to, deliberately biased information spread in various EU languages”

    Surely, this is ridiculous.

    “Calls on the Commission to propose legislation forbidding financing of political parties in the EU by political or economic stakeholders outside the EU;”

    I don’t see why it is any matter for the EU whether Greenpeace gives funds to the Greens or George Soros to Social Democrats.

    So it is untrue that “It is a strong resolution that condemns the illegal annexation of Crimea and Russia’s war against Ukraine”. It does far more than that. A reasonable person can condemn the illegal annexation of Crimea and still vote against this resolution.