The London analytical center “Henry Jackson Society” has published yesterday the report about the relations of the British radical politicians with the Kremlin. In the document called “Useful idiots of Putin” lists individuals and organizations that receive support from Moscow, as well as recommendations to counter the influence of the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The report was the Director of the Center for the study of Russia the analytical center “the Henry Jackson Society,” Andrew Foxall. The presentation was held in the parliamentary premises, but it was not an official event nor of any of the committees, nor even the whole Parliament, says the BBC Russian service. Foxall and his co-reporter Peter Pomerantsev just invited MP-labour’s Ian Austin.
In the report “Useful idiots of Putin” says that over the past five years there is a trend of establishing relations between the European populists, the right and left of the political spectrum, and Putin’s Russia. The document consolidates information about the contacts of these politicians with Russian partners and their statements on the subject of the Russian Federation – that is, presents the data available in the past.
The report notes that relations with Putin’s regime, British politicians, parties and movements set in various ways. Someone praises Putin and supported Russia’s actions in Ukraine; some travel to Moscow and other Russian cities to participate in the events organized by the Kremlin or Pro-Kremlin organizations; another part joins the Russian propaganda networks.
– A list of “Pro-Putin politicians” in Europe from Politico
– Favorite U.S. Congressman, Vladimir Putin
– German newspaper compared the dependence of Bulgaria on Russia “to take over the country”
In particular, Foxall writes about the visits of the former leader of the right-wing British national party nick Griffin to various conferences and elections in Russia, including at the international Russian conservative forum in 2015 in St. Petersburg. The analyst also recalls the statements of the leader of the labour party Jeremy Corbyn, his adviser Seamus Milne, at different times lauded Russia’s policy in the middle East, and the former mayor of London Ken Livingstone justify “the invasion of Russia to Ukraine.”
The report repeatedly refers to the cooperation of a number of British left and right with RT, Sputnik and other Russian state media. Fossil notes, thus the Pro-Russian politicians from Britain, not only support the Kremlin, but also increase their own influence. In addition, the report’s author suggests that for their performances, these policies can obtain support from Russia in the form of fees.
At the same time Foxall calls not to overestimate the role of the Russian state of the media in promoting the Kremlin to support the European politicians and their views. “According to the Commission for the study of the audience of broadcasters in the week of 3 October to 9 October 2016 average coverage of RT in the UK was 194 thousand, i.e. only 0.33% of the audience. Exaggerating the value of RT, we create the impression that what he says really matters. Has (the Supervisory body Ofcom has already demonstrated a willingness to investigate the actions of RT, when the channel lies or distorts reality), but not in the sense in which he means this channel,” writes Foxall.
How to counter “Putin’s idiots”
According to Foxall, a universal solution for the described problem does not exist. Nevertheless, the author of the report gives some recommendations for countering the activities of those British politicians and organisations who seek to expand their influence by supporting “oppressive regimes abroad.”
Analyst offers activists, journalists and politicians to draw public attention to the Pro-Russian Association of individuals and parties of the left and right wing and through the political debate to call into question the credibility of these structures. The left must be held accountable for that, preaching peace and equality at home, they support “aggressive kleptocracy” abroad. However, we need to question the right’s faith in the fact that Putin is a successful President, because “doing what is in Russia’s interests,” said Foxall.
Also the author of the report proposes to Fund research centers for the identification of British politicians relations with the Kremlin. Foxall believes that it is necessary to compile a map of Europe, which will indicate all the Pro-Russian structure.
Besides, the report provides journalists and activists attempt to uncover the schemes of financing by the Kremlin of European politicians and parties.
Also Foxall believes that the parliaments of European countries have legislation to require politicians to report all the speeches in the press, for fees or for free to the voters to see, from whom, and what money they get. And we are talking about any media, not just the Russian state.
Finally, scientists and observers in the West should raise the level of awareness of Europeans of the Putin regime, using selective terror and crime, according to the author of the report. Foxall reminiscent of the possible relations between Russian authorities with the murder of the correspondent of “Novaya Gazeta” Anna Politkovskaya, the death of the auditor of Fund Hermitage Capital of Sergei Magnitsky and opposition leader Boris Nemtsov; about the military tactics of Russia in Syria. “Raising these topics widely and actively, scientists, columnists and others will be able to do much to discredit the efforts of Russia to increase its influence in the West,” concludes the analyst.
Meanwhile, some measures to counter the propaganda policy of the Kremlin in Europe are made at official level. On the eve of the European Parliament adopted a resolutionin which, the Russian authorities have been accused of conducting propaganda through the state media to divide the EU. 691 MP who took part in the vote on the document, in its support was 304, vs – 179, and 208 have decided to abstain.
The resolution in particular stated that the information threat to the EU represent the RT, Sputnik Agency, Fund “Russian world” and the Agency under the foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation – Russia and its culture. The document also says that Russia is providing financial support to opposition political parties in the European Union.
The resolution was adopted as an instrument against the EU with the promotion of “third parties.” Along with Russia, it took the terrorist organization “al-Qaeda” and “Islamic state” (banned in Russia).