The Russian challenge to the liberal world order

Authored by: Suzanne Loftus , Roger E. Kanet

Routledge Handbook of Russian Security

Print publication date:  February  2019
Online publication date:  January  2019

Print ISBN: 9780815396710
eBook ISBN: 9781351181242
Adobe ISBN:


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Vladimir Putin was elected President of Russia for the fourth time on March 18, 2018. Putin has been ‘on a roll’ lately, gaining influence among European populist parties, whose aims to weaken the established liberal democratic order parallel his own. In Italy, the winners of the 2018 parliamentary elections are highly sympathetic to Putin. These include the anti-immigrant Northern League and the populist Five Star Movement. In Austria, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz rules alongside the far-right Freedom Party, which has strong ties to United Russia. In Germany, gains were made in September 2017 for the far-left Left Party and the far-right Alternative for Germany, parties that are popular with pro-Putin voters. In Greece, the Russia-friendly left-wing government of Alexis Tsipras has been in power since 2015. In Hungary, the Russia-friendly right-wing government of Viktor Orban has ruled since 2010. Marine Le Pen finished second in the 2017 French elections and Donald Trump won the 2016 US elections; both are proponents of increased nationalism and reduced multilateralism. In Britain, Putin benefitted in 2015 from the election as leader of the Labour Party of Jeremy Corbyn, who in 2011 called the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) ‘a danger to world peace’ (Milne, 2014). Then there was Brexit – a victory for Putin, as it symbolised an accelerating trend towards European disintegration (Stephens, 2018).

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