“A big day for the European right,” Hungarian anti-Brussels Prime Minister Viktor Orban described the far-right victory in Italy led by Georgia Meloni, who was sworn in on Saturday.
And last Monday, the Swedish parliament elected conservative leader Ulf Christerson as prime minister in a vote that witnessed unprecedented support from the “Sweden Democrats” (hard-right) for the traditional right, ushering in a new political era in this northern European country. represent.
The rise of the extreme right to power in a number of European countries worries Europe and the United States, given the existence of ties between right-wing political forces and Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to observers. Why are the far right attracted to Putin?
Research analyst Hussein al-Ibish believes that “Putin’s popularity among the right wing is growing, as he is seen as the de facto leader of an international grouping of ultra-conservatives who support nationalism.”
Al-Ibish continues, in response to Al-Hurra’s inquiries, that while there is no practical coordination between Yemeni politicians and Putin directly, they have something of a “community for the exchange of ideas”, not to mention that they “admire each other’s ideas.”
He adds that “Putin is perhaps the most popular among the extremist right because he is the most uncompromisingly successful in implementing their agenda and ideals, as he has created a sophisticated fascist state in Russia, which possesses nuclear weapons, does not tolerate no criticism, hates homosexuals and presents himself as (Champion of Western Christian Civilization).
According to a Reuters report, Putin has become attractive to the extreme right in Europe for several reasons, the most important of which is that they see him as a “protector of European values”, especially in issues related to the fight against “homosexuality”. , not to mention the fact that they have a common opponent, the “European Union”. Some political currents believe that the existence of this union “deprived the sovereignty of the member states of Europe”.
The report added that the main reasons for the appeal to Putin are his “leadership style” and his strong grip on parties and parliaments, in addition to his drive to restore “greatness” and “nationalism” in response to problems in Europe, which Putin encouraged to provide financial support to European right-wing parties in previous years.
Hassan Mneimneh, a professor at the Middle East Institute in Washington, notes that support “from the European extremist Yemeni parties for Putin was greater before his invasion of Ukraine, as he faced the U.S. -led globalization”.
In an interview with Al-Hurra, Mneimneh added that despite the fact that there is some “flairing or support from some Yemeni politicians in Europe for Putin, they are fully aware that they cannot the United States leave or break with the United States, especially as Putin’s person focuses on Eurasian nationalism away from rapprochement with Europeans.” “.
Meloni received congratulations from a number of Yemeni leaders in Europe. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said: “Unprecedented challenges lie ahead, so we need determined and courageous leadership,” while French far-right leader Marine Le Pen praised Meloni’s government, saying: “Across Europe, patriots are coming to power and together with them we claim Europe.” .
Meloni won a historic victory in the Italian legislative elections on September 25, succeeding in polishing the image of her party, the “Brothers of Italy” of the neo-fascists, coming to power exactly a century after the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini came. power in her country, for which Meloni had previously expressed her admiration.
Observers believe that the victory achieved by the extreme right in Europe can be seen as an important advantage for Putin, which he will try to exploit to the fullest extent, according to an editorial published by the Washington Post in mid-September.
The newspaper described the possibility of a far-right victory in Italy as a “seismic event” that could push the country to the brink of the European Union, especially with Meloni’s promises to prevent migrants from landing on Italian beaches. and to attack gays and transgender people.
Despite Meloni’s announced positions regarding the attack on Russia’s war against Ukraine, the positions of her partners, especially the leader of the right-wing League, Matteo Salvini, are causing controversy, after he questioned the effectiveness of the European sanctions imposed on Moscow was questioned, considering that the sanctions harm Europe greatly.
The newspaper points out that such talk is a “balm” for Putin, as the escalation of differences in the eurozone in the sanctions file against Moscow is an opportunity for Russia to reduce the sanctions.
“In Europe, from Italy (the Brotherhood of Italy) to Hungary (the Civic Alliance – Fidesz), through Poland (the Law and Justice Party), as well as Sweden (Sweden Democrats) or France (the Rally), Geraldo Monteiro, director of the Brazilian Center for Studies and Research at the University of Rio, told AFP. The nationalist right-wing parties all want to “close the borders and hold immigrants responsible for the crises.”
The American right
In 2017, The Atlantic published a study that noted that “conservative populist nationalists in both the United States and Europe view Putin as a potential ally because they focus on a sharply contrasting set of priorities: combating Islamic extremism, dismantling of global economic integration, and combating the secularization of Western societies”, but “Putin’s disastrous invasion of Ukraine has turned the former idol of the far-right into a toxic figure among many who were once his biggest admirers,” according to ‘ a CNN opinion piece.
On the other hand, author Hassan Mneimneh believes that the American far-right “may be more inclined to support Putin at the moment, since it differs from the Europeans in that it has no sympathy for Ukraine.”
Mneimneh added that “the American right sees this war as a (white war), which means it is between two parties of the white race,” and they believe in a “conspiracy to involve Putin in the war as ‘ an indication that the Jews are behind what is happening.”
Mneimneh believes that this opinion “does not identify with what exists on the ground, especially since Putin relies on a large number of Jews to continue his support.”
Ibish agrees that “the war in Ukraine has been a disaster for Russia, but it has strengthened Putin’s reputation with the extreme right, even though it is an aggressive war to the point of genocide. Putin does not see that there is a so-called Ukraine is not, and it is only affiliated with Russia.”
Ibish described what Putin achieved in the war against Ukraine as a “huge failure”, but despite this, this cause is admired by the far right in Europe and the United States, noting that prominent political figures such as “Donald Trump and Silvio Berlusconi still admire Vladimir Putin.”
And a report by the Guardian explains that Putin’s appeal to the far right, whether in Europe or the United States, is justified and “at least logical”, since he is anti-democratic, and they are, and he does not support human rights. , and they are, and he presents himself as a strong man. He wants to make his country “great” again.
But an analysis published by the magazine “Politko” suggests that many “former admirers of Putin from the European anti-immigrant right are quickly distancing themselves from him after his invasion of Ukraine,” especially in light of the “waves of popular sympathy with Ukrainians, and he became the most vocal opponents of accepting refugees from Syria.” And before Afghanistan, they welcome the Ukrainians fleeing the war.”