Vice President of the of the European Commission and former prime minister of Finland Jurki Katainen in an interview with CNBC in Brussels Tuesday stated that Russian Federation and the US are both willing to weaken the European Union. According to Katainen, the EU has never been challenged like this before.
“We are (for the) first time in the history in a situation where the President of the United States and (the) President of Russia seem to share the same view on Europe: the weaker, the better, because they think that it’s better for their own country, which is obviously not right,” said top EU official.
Relationship between US and EU has been challenged due to different views on such issues as trade and climate change. Yet, EU’s relationship with Russia is way different and has changed a lot after annexation of Crimea and imposing sanctions in 2014.
“The EU is also challenged from within,” claimed Katainen with reference to populist parties, which are allegedly supported by Russians.
”(These parties) want to weaken and fragment the EU – and some of those have also very close connection to Russia, to President Putin. So Russia has obviously financed some of those parties, they have interfered to our democratic processes, for instance referenda or national elections in order to weaken the EU, in order to create division between the people inside the country,” said Katainen. He then added that this issue is “very dangerous.”
European election 2019 is to take place later this week and nationalist parties are expected to take about 30% of seats in the Parliament of the EU.
Natalia Veselnitskaya — official website