• The Russia of Vladimir Poutine seduces the French populist parties and more generally European.

  • Between national sovereignty and a strong leader, the populists identify with this regime that they wish to reproduce in their country.

  • The Motherland also makes it easy to dissociate oneself from traditional candidates.

At the time of Christmas romantic comedies, it's time to look back on one of the most beautiful love stories of 2021: the populists with Russia. Thursday, Eric Zemmour threw flowers in Moscow during the political program

Elysée 2022

 : “Do you think that France is going to make war on Russia? It's stupid, ”he replied on the subject of possible French support for Ukraine, which sees Russian troops amassing at its border. “Ukraine's problem is not that Russia is threatening an invasion, since Russia has no interest. But Ukraine has belonged to Russia for a thousand years. "

Before him, Marine Le Pen and Jean-Luc Mélenchon had never hidden their respect for the Mother Country either.

This week alone, the leader of rebellious France assured that "the interest of France is to absolutely refuse the confrontation with Russia" during a conference on his part on geopolitics on Thursday and declared in an interview with France 24 Tuesday that "Russia was not an enemy".

As for Marine Le Pen, she has already met Vladimir Putin, praised his policy and his party has received several financial aid from Moscow.

With love from Russia

The case is far from only affecting France since many European populist parties show as much affection for Moscow: the Afd in Germany, the League in Italy, the EPF in Austria, etc. "Populist rhetoric works on the basics: order, security, sovereignty, so many values ​​embodied by the Russia of Vladimir Putin", explains Alexandre Eyries, teacher-researcher in information and communication sciences at the 'University of Burgundy. Ditto for the myth of the providential man, dear to the populists, who is found in Russia overplaying the mythification and virility of its head of state.

In addition to these political similarities for the far-right, there are shared ideals: that of a white Europe stretching from London to Vladivostok, with a very hard position against Islam, supports Gilles Ivaldi, researcher at the CNRS and specialist in populism in Europe.

Russia would therefore be a good illustration of the regime and the society that the populists want to establish.

Not to mention the financial aid for certain parties, such as the National Rally, also practical for delivering pretty words of love.

Not that Vladimir Putin is necessarily for the extreme right in France or pro-Trump.

"Russia is only seeking to disrupt and weaken Western democracies, in particular by supporting populist movements", specifies the researcher.

Anti-americanism

For leftist populism, the explanation lies elsewhere: the fascination for Russia stems more from historical anti-Americanism and from a logic: "the enemies of my enemies are my friends". And always in a populist logic, taking the side of Moscow rather than that of Washington makes it possible to adopt a rebel attitude at a lower cost on the international side, in a rather pro-American Europe. "It plays on the idea of ​​free speech, far from conventions and the system", recognizes Alexandre Eyries.

The far right, historically pro-American vis-à-vis the Soviet Union, has gradually reversed its position, notes Gilles Ivaldi: “NATO is today seen as contrary to national sovereignty, one of the most important themes. more expensive of populism, especially on the right. The United States has become the enemy, Russia the ally towards independence ”. Above all, left and right populism found a new culprit far from the Cold War: the European Union, also a question of sovereignty. “Brussels appears in populist history as the cause of many national misfortunes. Russia being in permanent tension with the European Union, taking its side allows to show its anti-Europeanism ”, concludes the researcher.An even more selling anti-Brussels position in France with the advent of a clearly pro-European president in the person of Emmanuel Macron. More than love, Russia is a pretty pretext to beat up those the populists loathe.

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  • France Insoumise (LFI)

  • Presidential election 2022

  • National Gathering (RN)

  • Russia

  • Elections

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