Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Cameron's confused policy on Russia

Very interesting post from Labour Matters (also in Freemania):

Happy to jet off to be photographed with the Georgian President, the Conservative leader remains silent about his Party’s close links with the United Russia party of Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev on the Council of Europe’s parliamentary assembly.

...........On the Council of Europe’s parliamentary assembly, UK Conservative Party members don’t sit with the moderate parties of the right - such as the German CDU/CSU or the French UMP - but with the more extreme right-wing groups like the Danish People’s Party, the Italian National Alliance, as well as Russia’s United Russia party, as part of the ‘European Democrat Group’.

In fact, the European Democrat Group is chaired by a United Russia member, while Cameron’s Conservatives are the honorary president (Baroness Knight); vice-chair (David Wilshire MP), political officer (Robert Walter MP) and co-treasurer (Christopher Chope MP). So while he’s talking tough for the cameras, his MPs are closely tied to the very people he’s supposedly opposed to.

For the uninitiated, Putin is currently president of the United Russia Party, and Medvedev is one of their representatives. Why are Conservatives snuggling up to extreme right-wing Russian groups like this, and shunning the German CDU and French UMP? Are they out of their tiny little minds?

Or is this about their other foreign policy issue - the EU - where they would rather sit with Russian extremists than fellow conservatives in the EU. If Cameron takes government, it looks like he will try to leave the EU and snub Western European governments, snuggle up to extremist Russian parties, while simultaneously snuggling up to the sworn enemies of the extremist Russian parties in Georgia. Got that? Looks like the next election will be about foreign policy. Do you want this idiot in charge of Britain's foreign policy.

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