A new report from NATO is following a narrative trend which began in the US and has since spread across Western Europe, accusing Russia of being to blame for the rise of populism worldwide, as an effort to undermine NATO and the European Union.
This report blames Russia for the election of Donald Trump in November, as well as last summer’s Brexit vote, in which Britain decided to withdraw from the European Union. It goes on to blame them for growing anti-EU movements in several other union nations, and for improving polling numbers in Germany and France for Euroskeptic parties.
This fits into the hysteria surrounding “fake news” in recent months, with the idea that Russia is to blame for the rise in alternative media outlets which are not as supportive of the idea of globalism. The “anti-globalism” idea positioned the defeat of Hillary Clinton in the US election as the fall of Western liberalism, putative a long-standing Russian priority.
This is already being set up to blame Russia every time a national election anywhere in the West doesn’t go the way of the center-left parties, with French and German officials already complaining about the idea well ahead of their elections just because polls are showing them not doing as well as they’d like to see.
Experts, of course, will note the rise of Euroskepticism across EU nations is largely concurrent with serious policy disputes within the EU itself, and that a simpler explanation than a far-reaching Russian plot is simply that many EU citizens don’t see the union as the panacea it was initially sold to them as.