European leaders have largely failed to stand up to Vladimir Putin’s Russia and its infiltration into the continent’s eastern front. Leaders on both sides of the European political aisle have failed to condemn Putin, and some have even called for an alliance with Russia.
Additionally, anti-Americanism has reached a fever pitch in Russia. In fact, a recent poll found that over 80 percent of Russians view the United States negatively.
The leaders within Europe’s burgeoning political parties have alarmingly reached a similar conclusion about Putin’s Russia: Moscow is not to be fought, parried, or ideologically countered as an enemy of freedom.
One cannot help but notice the many Russian flags at the weekly PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West) rallies, which predominantly call for the reigning in of Islamic immigration into Europe. The Economist has reported that a group called PEGADA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Americanization of the Occident) has also emerged in Germany, which blamed the “terror power” of America for attempting to start a third world war with Russia. “A crude mixture of anti-Americanism and a bizarre romanticism of Russo-German affinities” remain on both sides of the political aisle, historian Heinrich August Winkler explained to The Economist.
Greece’s recently elected radical left-wing Syriza party has shown a strong affinity for Putin’s Russia. “The landmark victory of radical leftist party Syriza in Greece’s general election Sunday signals the country will strive to increase its ties with the Russian government,” wrote The Moscow Times.
The French National Front Party, an emerging political power that espouses French nationalism and left-wing economics, has also firmly embraced Vladimir Putin’s Russia under leader Marie Le Pen. “We should not continue anymore to impose our own ideas and our judgment on the situation in Russia,” Le Pen told the The Wall Street Journal regarding Russia’s invasion into Ukraine. “Putin was able to gain Russia[n] respect and place it again on a high level on the international stage,” she added. Others have alleged that Le Pen has been bought and paid for by the Russians, after her party received an $11.5 million dollar loan from a Kremlin-owned bank.
In September, UKIP (UK Independence Party) leader Nigel Farage said the West needs to stop poking “the Russian bear with a stick” because Putin is “on our side” against radical Islam. Although Farage has previously described the Russian President as a “bit of a gangster,” the UKIP leader has not taken on Putin as an enemy of liberty.
Pablo Iglesias, the chairman of emerging Spanish left-wing party Podemos (“We can”), has claimed that Europe has a “double standard” when it comes to Russia and Israel. Iglesias would go on to explain that Israel is doing to the Palestinians what Russia is supposedly imposing upon Ukraine. Furthermore, Russia’s Pravda has described Podemos as a “pro-Russian party.”