: Voice of America: Why Russia is rocking the European boat

12:56 Apr. 23, 2016

Voice of America: Why Russia is rocking the European boat

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses to the delegates of congress of the Russian Engineering Union in Moscow’s House of Unions in Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday, April 19, 2016. (AP Images)

Kremlin supports financially Europe's radical parties and politicians

In an April 6 referendum in the Netherlands, a majority of participants voted against approving an association agreement between the European Union and Ukraine.  The results were greeted with concern in the West, but with delight in Moscow.

Read also 'Putin is smart, but truly an evil man' - Ex U.S. Secretary of State

Russia's government saw the vote as evidence that it was "on the same page" with Europe's far right – in this case, the Freedom Party headed by Geert Wilders, the Dutch politician known for his opposition to Islam and immigration who hailed the referendum's "no" vote as "the beginning of the end of the EU."

The Dutch referendum was just the latest in a series of developments that have journalists and researchers from around the world taking a closer look at how European radical organizations – most of them on the right side of the political spectrum, but also some on the left – are connected to the administration of Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Read also Bloomberg: Putin's propaganda machine is meddling with European elections

Is it simply a coincidence that many of these organizations supported the Kremlin's actions against Ukraine?  According to researchers, the answer is no: radicals in Europe, together with some cynically-minded mainstream politicians, are close to Russia's current leaders, both ideologically and financially.

Full story 

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