LibLink: Edward McMillan-Scott MEP: Cameron’s EU policy plays into Putin’s hands

Edward McMillan Scott, Vice President of the European Parliament with responsibility for human rights and democracy has been writing about how David Cameron’s European policy has enabled Russia’s President Putin to develop his strategy for a Eurasian Union based on illiberal and anti-democratic values.

He opens by outlining the problems faced by Angela Merkel with the rise of the eurosceptic right wing AFD:

Events in Ukraine may still overshadow Thursday’s trip to London by Angela Merkel, during which David Cameron will seek her support for EU reform.  She will not be pleased that Cameron has allowed his Eurosceptics to continue talks with her rival on the right – the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) – in a bid to shore up Cameron’s controversial European alliances, which include Vladimir Putin and Viktor Yanukovich.

The more MEPs elected from the right wing, nationalist, eurosceptic right, the more likely Putin’s aim of the EU falling apart becomes, he argues.  Then he explains Putin’s long term strategy:

Putin’s guru is Alexander Dugin, whose Foundations of Geopolitics, published in 1997, is a blueprint for the re-creation of the Russian empire through a Eurasian Union – directly rivalling the EU and the USA. Its philosophy is statist, nationalistic and anti-democratic and based on hostility to ‘the other’ – Muslims, gypsies, homosexuals.

The book states that “the battle for the world rule of the Russians” has not ended and Russia remains “the staging area of a new anti-bourgeois, anti-American revolution”. The Eurasian Union will be constructed “on the fundamental principle of the common enemy: the rejection of Atlanticism…and the refusal to allow liberal values to dominate us”.

He then looks at the consequences of Cameron’s alliances within the European Parliament.

Cameron’s was a callow and dangerous move – and led to my leaving the Tory party. It could now have profound consequences for Britain’s future.  Cameron’s fruitless alliance ‘with a bunch of nutters, homophobes, anti-Semites and climate-change deniers’ (according to Nick Clegg at the time) is already disintegrating. It cannot even find a candidate in this year’s contest for the presidency of the European Commission.

Cameron’s 2009 split with the centre-right also led to a formal alliance with Putin’s United Russia in the parliamentary assembly of  the symbolic post-war Council of Europe, (nothing to do with the EU but also confusingly with its official ‘seat’ in Strasbourg).

You can read the whole article here.

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11 Comments

  • This article is pure nonsense.
    Angela Merkel and the EU are importers of Natural Gas. Putin and Russia are exporters of Natural Gas.
    That is pretty much all you need to know.

  • The dramatic and explosive 20th century — whose true beginning was 100 years ago — continues to be the point from which the modern projects that will define the 21st century begin. Its appalling destruction and excesses continue to motivate humanity to move away from it, but there are two very different directions to go: one towards the rigidity, platitudes, and hypocrisy of the 19th century, toward neo-Czarism and neo-Victorianism; and the other towards an uncertain but hopeful 21st-century project of greater liberalism and European integration. The shapes these movements take may differ, sometimes drastically, from country to country, but the basic question is whether one stays with the known and tried (even if it is known to have tried and failed) or to look for a balanced, evolutionary path to something quite new: a system of international cooperation at the top combined with greater localism and popular participation at the bottom. The need for *balance* is all important in this; if the integrationist project is pursued at the expense of liberalism and democracy, you get rule by unelected bureaucrats and oligarchs, representing financial and corporate interests; but if various liberal projects are pursued without integration, you get a mess of competing projects, moving forwards, backwards, and sideways, and mixed up with nationalism and even more unpleasant ideologies which aren’t liberal at all. If the UK fails to integrate, it will only be to pursue a reactionary course in which its supposed exceptionalism will be shown to be a sham. Even now the country labours under a rigid system in which power is transferred between two entrenched and ossified interest groups with the barest nod to the popular will; a system where wealth grows apace, but only a few share in it; where the weakest, the least fortunate and most oppressed in society are scapegoated and used to distract from the failings of the powerful; where millions of pounds are spent on things that are useless, outdated, or merely symbolic, and those causes which are useful and helpful are forced to compete for the leavings; and where politicians of all colours are afraid to challenge the system for fear of being branded unpatriotic or worse by the gutter press.

    There is a deep anger and frustration in the public, and it is the great shame of our time that the Liberal Democrats are unable to speak together to voice that frustration; and that instead many of the discontented go in search of quacks offering poison pills as cure-alls.

  • “The more MEPs elected from the right wing, nationalist, eurosceptic right, the more likely Putin’s aim of the EU falling apart becomes ….. “

    Indeed. I recall some people were once obsessed with reds under the bed plotting revolution. The writer here sounds a wee bit like Joe McCarthy single-handedly whipping up anti-Russian fear and paranoia.

  • Unless one assumes that Mr Putin acts out of disinterested motives of beneficence, honour, and fair dealing all round — political sins I’ve never heard him accused of in my life — one would naturally suppose that he operates according to a pretty traditional notion of national self-interest (one shared by most states, East and West) and can predict his views and responses accordingly. In general, don’t you think Russia (whether headed by Putin or anybody else) would prefer to deal with a number of small, divided states that could be played off against each other rather than with a strong, united Europe?

  • An excellent article by a man who knows what he’s talking about. It’s so very sad that at a time when the EU is needed in Europe more than ever, with the power struggle over Ukraine between the liberal and democratic EU and the nationalist, illiberal and anti-democratic vision in Putin’s Eurasian Union, Britain, which could have a leading role in what is now the world’s new superpower, is choosing instead to turn in on itself to satisfy the prejudices of the little Englander brigade in UKIP and the Conservative party. What a disgrace. I want this country to play a leading role in the world and stand up for universal rights. It has a genuine opportunity to do just that but the little Englanders prefer to close the drawbridge and whinge about how much better the world was in their day.

  • jedibeeftrix 27th Feb '14 - 1:21pm

    or, a deliberately ignorant rant by a bitter man…

  • I do believe jbt is an expert on deliberate ignorance.

  • “Putin’s guru …, whose Foundations of Geopolitics, published in 1997, is …… is statist, nationalistic and anti-democratic and based on hostility to ‘the other’ – Muslims, gypsies, homosexuals”.

    So let’s rival it by our hostility to ‘the other’ – the Russians. Is that it?

  • It does no good to confuse xenophobia toward Russians as a people (or toward any other people, for that matter) with a realism about (a) the continuing interests of Russia as a state or (b) the particular motives and aims of the existing Russian government. These are all different things. One does not have to be anti-Russian (with reference to the people) in order to be perturbed by certain manifestations of the influence of Russia as a political entity. There is quite a bit of history there to look at, and the facts of geography and resources remain the same regardless of who is in power. As for Putin himself, he has never pretended or claimed to be liberal in any way, shape, or form, so why ascribe to him any ideology other than the nationalist authoritarianism he frankly professes?

  • jedibeeftrix 27th Feb '14 - 6:25pm

    @ David – I thought I was an expert on British exceptional I am, something that apparently didn’t merit further explanation, but I would be delighted for you if you could expand on my expertise in deliberate ignorance….

  • David 1

    Of course we must all be realistic about the undoubted shortcomings of other regimes just as they must look somewhat askance at what our leaders get up to from time to time – the current abject withdrawal from Afghanistan and previously from Iraq , leaving the mayhem behind us that our invasions made inevitable come to mind – but we must find ways to work with these regimes and try to maintain some sort of peace and order in this febrile world.

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