Conference Report The Putin System and the Kremlin’s influence in Europe / Berlin, March 13 Written by Nikolaus von Twickel, edited by Ralf Fuecks
How does Putin’s system function in Russia, how does it influence Europe and what can Europe do about it? The theme of the Center for Liberal Modernity’s first major conference last Tuesday in Berlin was not chosen by accident: The Center was set up in November as a think tank directed against growing populist and anti-liberal tendencies in Europe, a trend that many have linked to Russia, where President Vladimir Putin was re-elected for a fourth term on Sunday.
The conference’s aim was to understand the political and economic aspects of the Putin System and to raise awareness about the real nature of the regime. Another aim was to discuss realistic policy options for the West: “There is this timid, undecided feeling in western capitals – they do not look because they are afraid of what they might see” – the Center’s co-founder Marieluise Beck said in her opening remarks. Ralf Fuecks, its director, explained that the Center would deal with antiliberal challenges from within and outside. Russia is no longer an external power but an effective political actor inside Europe. (more…)