February 16, 2014
Putin is Russia’s President and strongman, but also he is the chairman of United Russia, a political force that describes itself as conservative. In the past Soviet Russia was opposed to the West on the basis of ideology. But isn’t a new ideology beginning to replace old political divisions?
The negative attitude vis-à-vis gay marriage in conservative EU and the anti-gay policies of Putin have a lot in common. Putin is seeking to grab as much influence on the basis of traditional Orthodox anti-gay sentiments in several countries of Russia’s “near neighbourhood”, from Belgrade and Athens to Tbilissi and Yerevan. This photo with the kid was taken in Belgrade.
In Western Europe we see that the only subject matter capable of mobilising tens of thousand of people to take the streets is rejection of gay marriage, France being a good example.
Suddenly this has become the main dividing line between the European centre-left and centre-left, and the issue may be indeed a hot topic in the coming European elections.
Putin has everything to gain if the European society gets further polarized on the gay rights issue. This will legitimize his home policies and help strengthen his grip on the “near neighbourhood countries”, as the Eurasian union he tries to build will obviously be based on these values.