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The Daily Vertical: Comintern 2.0? (Transcript)

  • Brian Whitmore

The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL.

It's not quite Vladimir Lenin's Comintern yet, but hey, there's still time.

Over the past three months, the ruling United Russia party has signed agreements with two far-right European parties, Italy's Northern League and Austria's Freedom Party.

And you might ask, so what's new here? The Kremlin has been forging ties with the European far right -- as well as some elements on the European far left -- for years.

They've cultivated xenophobic European parties, from Marine Le Pen's National Front in France to Jobbik in Hungary, to AfD in Germany.

They've built networks of influence and turned European democracy into a weapon against European democracy.

But United Russia's coordination agreement with Italy's Northern League, and its more extensive cooperation agreement with Austria's Freedom Party, take this process to the next level by formalizing it, by making it official.

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Vladimir Putin's regime is establishing a Nationalist International.

And more European parties are clamoring to join.

Just last month, for example, AfD leader Frauke Petry made a pilgrimage to Moscow and held talks with State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin.

Can an agreement be far behind?

And as Putin's Nationalist International grows, so will his ability to meddle in Europe's affairs, disrupt its politics, sow chaos, and advance Moscow's interests.

For years, the Kremlin's war on Europe has been waged in the shadows.

Now it's moving out into the open.

Keep telling me what you think on The Power Vertical's Twitter feed and on our Facebook page.

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