Source: ECFR

Hardcore anti-Western parties (30 parties)

Most Ranking

  1. Ataka, Bulgaria
  2. Kotleba-People’s Party our Slovakia, Slovakia
  3. Jobbik, Hungary
  4. Rassemblement National, France
  5. Fratelli d’Italia/Centrodesta Nazionale, Italy
  6. UK Independence Party, United Kingdom
  7. Lega Nord, Italy
  8. Freedom Party, Austria
  9. Danish People’s Party, Denmark
  10. Vlaams Belang, Belgium
  11. Independent Greeks, Greece
  12. Golden Dawn, Greece
  13. Nationaldemokratische Partei, Germany
  14. Bulgarian Socialist Party
  15. Alternative für Deutschland, Germany
  16. Unitary Democratic Coalition, Portugal
  17. Alternative for Bulgarian Rebirth, Bulgaria
  18. Five Star Movement
  19. Liberal Conservative Reformers, Germany
  20. Patriotic Front, Bulgaria
  21. Fidesz, Hungary
  22. We Are Family, Slovakia
  23. Dwan-National Coalition, Czech Republic
  24. Green Party, Portugal
  25. Syriza, Greece
  26. Slovak National Party, Slovakia
  27. Movement for Recharging Bulgaria, Bulgaria
  28. Christian Democratic People’s Party, Hungary
  29. Sweden Democrats, Sweden
  30. Communist Party, Greece

All the parties in this group  except for Sweden Democrats support closer ties between their country and Russia, oppose sanctions on Russia, or have party contacts with the Russian regime. The FPÖ and the Lega Nord have agreed cooperation pacts with Vladimir Putin’s ruling party, United Russia. 

Of the 30 radical anti-Western parties 25 seek closer ties to Russia.

Moderate anti-Western parties (31 parties)

Most Ranking

  1. Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia Czech Rep.
  2. Party of Freedom Netherlands
  3. Front de Gauche France
  4. Team Stronach
  5. EH Bildu Spain
  6. Finns Party Finland
  7. Die Linke Germany
  8. Left Bloc Portugal
  9. Unidos Podemos Spain
  10. Südtiroler Volkspartei Italy
  11. United Left Slovenia
  12. Kukiz’15 Poland
  13. Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya Spain
  14. Left Party Sweden
  15. Social Democratic Party Austria
  16. Forza Italia Italy
  17. Direction – Social Democracy Slovakia
  18. Sinistra Ecologia Libertà Italy
  19. Les Republicains France
  20. 50 Partij voor de Dieren Netherlands
  21. Conservative People’s Party of Estonia Estonia
  22. Grande Sud Italy
  23. Movement for Rights and Freedom Bulgaria
  24. 50Plus Netherlands
  25. Il Megafono-Lista Crocetta Italy
  26. Centrum Finland
  27. Austrian Peoples’ Party Austria
  28. Ordinary People and Independent Personalities Slovakia
  29. Staatskundig Gereformeerde Partij Netherlands
  30. Left Alliance Finland
  31. Green Party

The parties in this category: show a preference for close relations with Russia, are in favour of lifting sanctions, and have ties with the Russian regime. The exceptions are the Finns Party, Centrum (also from Finland), the Südtiroler Volkspartei in Italy, Kukiz’15 in Poland, and the Conservative People’s Party of Estonia. The remaining 26 parties in this category are inclined towards Russian interests.

Of the 31 moderate anti-Western parties, 22 seek closer relations to Russia.

 Moderate pro-Western parties (49 parties)

  1. GERB, Bulgaria
  2. Czech Social Democrats *
  3. Finnish Social Democrats *
  4. Parti Socialiste, France¨*
  5. German Social Democrats, Germany*
  6. Italian Democratic Party, Italy *
  7. Portuguese Socialist Party, Portugal *
  8. Slovenian Social Democrats, Slovenia *
  9. Partido Popular, Spain,
  10. British Conservative Party, UK

*These parties promote closer ties or economic cooperation with Russia, easing sanctions at the earliest opportunity. They do not support the ideological agenda that the Kremlin promotes in Europe, nor do they promote outright ideological confrontation with the Kremlin over the future of Europe’s political, social, and economic order.

Of the 49 moderate pro-Western parties, 12 are known to seek closer ties to Russia.

 Pro-Western parties (71 parties)

  1. La République en Marche ! , France
  2. Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Germany
  3. Civic Platform, Poland
  4. Social Democratic Party, Portugal
  5. Socialist Party, Spain

No party promotes the lifting of sanctions or cultivating ties with the regime. There are no out-and-out pro-Russian parties in this category.

Of the 71 fully pro-Western parties only six modestly embrace rapprochement of some kind

Despite the current unity within the EU on maintaining sanctions, relations with Russia’ and support for sanctions are highly polarising issues in domestic politics. The issue is also inherently divisive across Europe, as national consensuses vary greatly, with Greece the most pro-Russian and Poland the least. There is support for lifting sanctions and creating closer ties with Russia in Greece, Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, Bulgaria, France, the Czech Republic, Italy, and Portugal, while on the other hand Poland, Estonia, the United Kingdom, Romania, Denmark, Sweden, and Germany are sceptical of the possibility of achieving better relations with Russia. For the moment, the sceptical states seem able to hold the line on sanctions. But it is a fragile status quo.  

There is  a significant potential overlap of ideology and interests between many European political parties and the Russian government. The focus in recent years has remained very much on parties on the extremes of European politics, even while parties like the Rassemblement  National accumulated a level of support normally associated with ‘mainstream’ parties. But sympathy towards Russia is found within all types of parties, right across the EU. Moreover, such views can spread across national political systems to such an extent that they become the dominant view.


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