The first round of the French presidential elections will take place on April 23, 2017, with far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen, leader of the new liberal political movement "En Marche!" Emmanuel Macron, far-left politician and leader of "France Insoumise" coalition Jean-Luc Mélenchon and center-right Republican candidate Francois Fillon in the running to become the France's next president.
The following is an overview of the French elections seen from Russia:
Marine Le Pen (Ria.ru, March 24, 2017)
Marine Le Pen’s Visit To Russia Is 'A Sober And Calculated Move By An Experienced And Talented Politician
On March 24, 2017, one month before the first round of the French presidential elections (April 23), the leader of the populist party Front National, Marine Le Pen, visited Russia, at the invitation of the State Duma. During her visit, Le Pen had a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Journalist Irina Alksnis published an article in the Russian pro-Kremlin media outlet Vz.ru, titled "Marine Le Pen Goes All In," commenting on the French politician's visit to Russia. According to Alksnis, Le Pen's visit to Russia only a month before the presidential election is not a "stupid" whim or an idealist’s rashness; it is a calculated move by an experienced and talented politician. In the situation of an almost guaranteed defeat, there is no point trying to gain more votes from the left. The journalist commented that the determination and commitment to principles demonstrated by the French leader may play into her hands later.
See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 6856, French Elections - Marine Le Pen’s Visit To Russia Is 'A Sober And Calculated Move By An Experienced And Talented Politician', April 4, 2017.
Marine Le Pen with Vladimir Putin (Facebook.com/MarineLePen)
The Moscow Times: Russia Launches Operation 'Anyone But Macron'
Emmanuel Macron (Facebook.com/EmmanuelMacron)
According to the Moscow Times, with the approach of the French presidential election, Russia is launching operation "Anyone but Macron." After Republican Party candidate Francois Fillon's campaign became embroiled in scandal, the young social liberal candidate Emmanuel Macron, running under the banner of a new pro-European movement – En Marche!, could make it to the second round on May 7, 2017. Former minister of economy Macron is the only French presidential candidate, who talked about the crackdown on human rights in Russia. And "this makes him an adversary for Moscow," wrote the Moscow Times, quoting Russian political scientist Vladimir Frolov. For this reason, according to the paper, Russia still hopes that Fillon, "a man with personal ties to Putin who has called for sanctions to be lifted", will make it to the first round, set for April 23, 2017. "In order to do so, [Russia] wants to sabotage Macron's chances," wrote the Moscow-based media outlet.
See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 6780, French Elections - The Moscow Times: Russia Launches Operation 'Anyone But Macron', February 13, 2017.
In a recent interview with Le Figaro, French center-right presidential candidate Francois Fillon declared: "It is useless to persist in saying that Russia should leave Crimea; it will never happen... Nobody can deny that from historic, cultural and linguistic points of view, Crimea is Russian." (Fr.sputniknews.com/france, April 20, 2017)
In the caption - Fillon: "Crimea is Russia."
Ukrainian man: "Don't let this guy come to our Eurovision!"
(Ria.ru, April 20, 2017)
Russian National Security Council Consultant: The Rothschilds Are Behind French Presidential Candidate Macron
Dr. Yuri Kosov, a scientific consultant for the Russian National Security Council, hinted that the Rothschilds were "managing and directing" the French elections by standing behind presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron and trying to eliminate his political rivals François Fillon and Marine Le Pen. His statements were posted on the Internet TV channel of the "Russian People's Line" on February 24, 2017.
See MEMRI TV Clip No. 5918, Russian National Security Council Consultant: The Rothschilds Are Behind French Presidential Candidate Macron, February 23, 2017.