Russian Press Wary Of European Parliamentary Election Results

Fuad Muxtarlı Media Roundup 3 June 2019
Russian Press Wary Of European Parliamentary Election Results

Russia’s leading newspapers are wary of the outcomes of the national elections to the European Parliament. This composition of the EU will be of crucial role in either further deterioration of the relations with the Kremlin or improving already tense ones that are the results of the Russia’s occupation of the Crimea and the ongoing separatist wars in other parts of Ukraine as well as for growing negative role of Moscow on developments worldwide.

Russia’s influential business daily in a comment on the May European elections said: "What has occurred earlier at national assemblies of the leading European countries has happened to the European Parliament: it is not bipartite anymore. Now heavyweights from the centre-right and centre-left parties will probably have to agree on coalition with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe and, most importantly, they will have to put up with more or less radical, mostly far-right, deputies. The main intrigue at the European level is whether the far-right deputies will be able to form their own numerous and stable political group that is similar to factions at national parliaments."

Business daily Vedomosti in a comment said that "according to head of the research company Europe Insight Andrei Kulikov, the new balance of powers in the European Parliament itself will not result in drastic changes to the European foreign policy as the parliament's powers are rather limited. But a new European 'locomotive' may take shape there, a new make-up of the European Commission, which is the one making decisions, will be elected here, Kulikov believes.

'The EU is willing to play a leading role in international relations. It is already acting independently, from the US in the first place, in some spheres, for instance within the frames of the defense union,' the expert added. As for the success of populists this tendency was to be expected and EU leaders understand that these forces cannot be ignored, Kulikov concluded."

Russia’s state-owned daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta says "it is obvious that the European Parliament has undergone fragmentation of the European mainstream which will inevitably make the process of formation of a new make-up of the European Commission and its approval by the parliament long and complicated. The success of right-wing, nationalist parties at the elections and their articulate, though virtual intention to form their own coalition can mar the once comfortable life of centrists and hamper their candidates' road to key posts in the European Commission. Anyway, the formation of a new government in the EU is not going to be smooth and new faces are bound to emerge in the European leadership."

Popular Moscow daily Moskovsky Komsomolets in remarks about the crucial for many member states elections said that the elections to the European Parliament have basically maintained the status quo but radicals have actually strengthened their positions a little. However, it will not have a significant impact on the parliament's work. A coalition of three parties will make decisions on the main issues. As for the would-be European commissioner it will depend on who they will agree on...

"Many deputies do not hail the candidacy of representative of the European People's Party Manfred Weber for the post. His candidacy is the most probable but it is not pre-determined. Moreover, it is not good for Russia as he has already stated that if he heads the European Commission he will oppose the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 project,' the head of the European Union Studies Department of the Russian Academy of Sciences, World Economy and International Relations Institute, Yuri Kvashnin, said."

Centrist daily Nezavisimaya Gazeta said: "The main outcomes of elections to the European Parliament are a high turnout, a loss of seats by leading centrist parties, which have been determining the EU's politics for decades, and a growth of Eurosceptics' popularity...

"When asked whether Moscow can hope on prompt lifting of the European sanctions, Nadezhda Arbatova, chief of the European Political Studies Department at the Russian Academy of Sciences IMEMO (Institute of World Economy and International Relations), said:

"'The expectations that Eurosceptics can change the EU's sanctions regime against Russia look inflated. First, there are Russia's avid ill-wishers among anti-European parties and their leaders, for instance Yaroslav Kachinsky. Second, the scandal involving leader of the Freedom Party of Austria and its alleged Russian trace will make many politicians overly cautious in order to avert the fate of Heinz-Christian Strache'."