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Did Putin win the EU elections?

•, by Roman Dobrokhotov

Last week 28 countries of the European Union held European parliamentary elections. Although the elected the 751-seat European parliament is not the top-decision making body in the union, its composition can significantly influence certain internal policies. The vote was also an opportunity to gauge political attitudes of the 500 million EU population.

As in previous years, this EU election also demonstrated that populism has become a formidable force in European politics. Far-right and Eurosceptic parties had a strong showing, with Marine Le Pen's National Rally (formerly the National Front) winning the most votes in France (23 percent) and Matteo Salvini's League Party emerging on top of the polls in Italy with 34 percent.

As with various national elections that took place over the past few years, where populists either won or gained significant numbers in parliament, the EU polls raised questions once more about Russian interference. Many Europeans today ask themselves to what extent their democratic choice is undermined by Russian money and disinformation campaigns which help anti-EU populist parties score high at every election.

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