There was no “hand of the Kremlin”: Another example of why Moscow is cooperating with European right-wing

Не было "руки Кремля": Еще один пример, почему Москва сотрудничает с европейскими правыми

Avstriyskoy the leader of the freedom party Norbert Hofer

The original page Anton shehovtsov in Facebook

For Russian-speaking friends and colleagues on the signing of a cooperation agreement between the ruling party “United Russia” and the right-wing Austrian freedom party (fpö).

APS embarked on a Pro-Kremlin position in 2008 after the Russian invasion of Georgia. Beginning in the fall of that year, senior members of the APS jointly with the ultranationalist Russian journalist Maxim Shevchenko organized several conferences in Vienna, which were anti-Georgian, anti-American and Pro-Russian character. Shevchenko worked with APS for several years and were taken at the Vienna conference in 2008-2010, representatives of the Russian Public chamber, members of the “United Russia”, the Russian fascist Alexander Dugin and his associates Mikhail Khazin and the (now deceased), Heydar Jemal. Shevchenko has also helped to organize the visit of two prominent members of APS to Chechnya to meet Ramzan Kadyrov.

During his other visits to Russia, the leaders of the APS met with the mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov, Governor of Moscow region Boris Gromov, members of the “United Russia” and others. During each of these visits, members of the APS discussed the possibility of economic cooperation with the Russian side, but at present no data which would speak about the success of their negotiations. In Austria itself the MTA has established relationships with Rossotrudnichestvo, the Russian Embassy in Austria, the Society for Austrian-Russian friendship, the Vienna organization “Russian ball”.

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And here it is important to emphasize: the APS itself Pro-Kremlin initiated a shift in its international activities. There was no “hand of Moscow” – was a senior member of the fpö Johann Gudenus, who knows Russian language, which at the time was the Russian girl, and which, with high probability, had or has economic interests connected with Russia. It is necessary to tell that the Kremlin – despite the Pro-Russian activities of APS – most of that time, did not consider the Austrian right-wing radicals its key allies in Austria. At the official Moscow had other allies: the mainstream conservatives and the social Democrats- the political forces that either themselves or through intermediaries still control the Austrian business and industry. APS does not control anything, so Moscow did not want to spoil relations with their mainstreami Austrian partners (with whom Moscow linked the major business interests), rendering any meaningful support to the opposition social Democrats and the conservatives right-wing radicals.

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What has changed now and why is it important?

In the first round of presidential elections in Austria in 2016, won a member of the APS Norbert Hofer. Representatives of the social Democrats and the conservatives have not even advanced to the second round for the first time in the entire postwar period. In the polls the APS is now ranked first in popularity – in the parliamentary elections of 2018 at the APS have the opportunity to receive more than 30% of the vote. For Moscow, all this means that the EAS, standing on an openly Pro-Kremlin positions can really make a serious step in the direction of coming to power. Of course, APS will not be able to form a government in 2018, she will need at least one coalition partner, either the social Democrats or the conservatives. Each of these forces is the supporters of the coalition with the fpö. Despite the fact that opponents of such a coalition in each of the two cases too many, the chances that the APS will be able to come to power, for example, taking in partners of the conservatives (which can contribute to their Russian business partners), is quite high.

The Kremlin can not miss this chance, so I took an unprecedented step on 28 November this year, the leadership of “United Russia” took a decision to conclude a cooperation agreement with APS. I don’t know exactly who suggested this idea, but I’m sure that the TSA (my version: “United Russia” decided to accept the fact that APS has offered to do for a long time). It is interesting to note one detail: the decision was made less than a week before the repeat second round of presidential elections (4 December). The Kremlin is clearly preparing to congratulate Hofer with a victory at the ceremony of signing the agreement in Moscow on 19 December, but Hofer lost, so the celebration was not so bright.

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But it makes little difference in the medium-term strategy of Moscow – the goal remains the Austrian parliamentary elections of 2018. The contract with APS opens up great opportunities. In particular, there is mentioned “the development of economic, trade and investment cooperation between the two countries” that can be interpreted in one very interesting way. As far as I know, no European right-wing party has no such agreement with the ruling “United Russia”, so in the context of the discussion of relations between the Western right-wing radicals and the Russian authorities – this agreement is potentially much more important than 9 million Russian loan the National front in 2014.

Anton Shekhovtsov

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