Is Russia Manipulating Republican Attacks on George Soros?

In this recent article on the Politico website, it’s alleged Russia is leading the anti-George Soros positions of some Republicans.

The two groups both perceive George Soros as an enemy. Though whether or not that makes them allies in the old-fashioned “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” point of view is open to debate. Republican lawmakers Senator Mike Lee of Utah and Representative Chris Smith of New Jersey have accused Soros of using his philothranpic spending to support his liberal political causes.

According to a letter the two politicians wrote on March 14 to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Soros is using his Open Society Foundations to further his leftwing, progressive agenda in Europe. Politico says that line comes from Moscow. During the Cold War, Soros did support anti-communist groups in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union that pressed for political freedom. The current government in Moscow views Soros’s continued support for civil groups as a plot to turn the former communist countries into pro-Western democracies that would oppose Moscow and its positions.

The Politico writer acknowledges that Soros’s efforts to promote democracy and get rid of corruption in Eastern Europe and Russia are aligned with traditional Republican positions. And traditional Republicans did have reason to oppose George Soros on American domestic issues. Soros has supported many Democratic political candidates.

However, the post-Trump victory Republican parties are more nationalist. And therefore some nationalist politicians in Eastern Europe are seeking more international support for their own campaigns against Soros and the many foundations he funds. Read more about George’s life story at biography.com.

The two Republican lawmakers are now focused on Macedonia and, to some extent, Albania. Macedonia is going through a political crisis where a rightwing party is contending for power with a leftwing party. Is the United States funding one group over another by funding a Soros-aligned group in that country?

The president of the Open Society Foundations, Chris Stone, has expressed the opinion that the election of President Trump encourages autocratic regimes to resist the reforms that the Open Society Foundations try to bring. Learn more on Discover the Networks about George Soros.

Meanwhile, Russia is trying to use the political turnoil in Macedonia to increase their influence in that country. The letter the two Republican lawmakers wrote gave them a propaganda victory. The State Department denies that they have taken sides in Macedonia’s political crisis. (Macedonia was part of the former Yugoslavia.)

The State Department does acknowledge that USAID gave three grants to Foundation Open Society – Macedonia over the past 15 years. Those are mainly to support iniatives to education the country’s Roma population. The Open Society Foundation has said it has worked with over the past 15 years with independent organizations to support human rights, accountability and good government in the country.

Know more: https://www.nytimes.com/topic/person/george-soros

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