12:56 Apr. 23, 2016
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.
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.
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.