The following is an overview of Russia's reactions to the results of the first round of voting in the French presidential elections, and to the two candidates who advanced to the second round – the pro-Europe and centrist En Marche! Leader, Emmanuel Macron, and the Euro-skeptic leader of the far-right National Front, Marine Le Pen. The second round of the election is set for May 7, 2017.
Le Pen and Macron cycle towards the second round of the French presidential elections. (Source: Sputniknews.com, April 24, 2017)
Senator Kosachev: The French People Are Choosing Europe's Fate, Rather Than Their National Leader
Above: "French presidential candidate Macron has admitted that he has no plan against terrorism."
Below: "[He will] act according to the old scheme: march in line and dim the Eiffel Tower's lights." (Vk.com/politics_today, April 24, 2017)
Senator Konstantin Kosachev, head of the Russian Federation Council's Foreign Affairs Committee, wrote on his Facebook page:
"The French people were unlucky to some extent: They had to choose Europe's fate, rather than their national leader. That's why they did not have a right or an opportunity to vote 'in a wrong way': not what France or they themselves needed, but as necessary in order to save the EU.
"After Macron's victory [in the second round] France will soon leave the headlines. It will be again 'a normal' European country, which pragmatically and responsibly marches in one common line with other EU countries. In fact, Macron is a real classical populist, as well as those who support him from abroad, who's speculating on saving Europe and defending values.
"That's why the expected results of the current elections are in fact not solving France's problems, but rather postponing them. At the moment, Berlin and Brussels have won over Paris. Time will tell whether they have won over French people. Perhaps this chance for Europe's and France renewal, which was lost, may emerge as fatal: there might be an illusion that the 'good guys' won and therefore there is a need to continue proceeding according old neoliberal and euro bureaucratic schemes."
(Facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002123135703, April 23, 2017)
Kommersant: Russia's Moral, But Useless Victory
Second round of the French presidential elections: Emmanuel Macron vs. Marine Le Pen. (Vitaly Podvitsky, Ria.ru, April 24, 2017)
Analyzing the results of the first round of the French presidential elections, the Kommersant newspaper noted that the only "moral" but "useless" "victory" for Russia is that candidates who support normalization with Moscow altogether gained more than 60% of votes (FN leader Marine Le Pen, center-right candidate Francois Fillon, far-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon). The newspaper quotes two experts as saying that Macron's victory would represent the continuation of an antagonist policy against Russia.
Russian political analyst Timofei Bordachev, director of the Centre for Comprehensive European and International Studies, said: "Macron's victory in the second round means that Paris' policy against Russia will be preserved. The new president will adhere to the Euro-Atlantic course, that is, the policy pursued by the current political mainstream. One should not forget that Emmanuel Macron has very good relations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who sets the tone for the EU's policy of exerting pressure on Russia."
Sergey Utkin, deputy head of strategic assessments department of the Institute of International Relations at the Russian Academy of Sciences, told Kommersant: "Emmanuel Macron's victory would mean maintaining the existing policy, including the Russian one. However, we need to take a very important factor into account. Macron will have to seek support from leading French political parties, but France's political environment is far less critical of Russia than that of some other EU member countries. Mr. Macron will have to become a representative of this environment."
(Kommersant.ru, April 23, 2017; Tass.com, April 24, 2017)
Kremlin Spokesman Peskov: "It Is Wrong To Say That Russia Shows Favoritism Towards Anyone Among The Candidates"
Marine Le Pen (Vitaly Podvitsky, Ria.ru, March 24, 2017)
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that it is wrong to say that Russia is unhappy to see the leader of France’s En Marche! movement, Emmanuel Macron, win the first round of presidential elections. Peskov said: "These are utterly erroneous allegations, and rather primitive. Traditionally, Russia is ready and willing to build good relations with those who think the same way and who believe that the current differences can be settled only through dialogue, by taking into account mutual interests. It is wrong to say that Russia shows favoritism towards anyone among the candidates. Russia has never interfered, doesn’t interfere and will never interfere into electoral processes in other countries."
He then added: "It is a very important election on the European continent… As far as the election is concerned, we respect the choice of the French people. It is the French people who should decide who will be the country’s president."
(Tass.com, April 24, 2017)
RIA Columnist: Macron Is Supported By The Same Globalist Groups That Supports Trump
Columnist for the Russian news agency RIA Vladimir Lepekhin wrote: "Trump is not a lone player. He is a part and a very important element of the transnational political oligarchic team, which aims at certain global goals. I'm sure that the same forces which took Trump for power in the U.S. are now betting on Macron. As a matter of fact – Macron is a weak leader. He's a part of the same transnational group just because he's so dependent, controlled, and predicted, as opposed to Le Pen – an independent and thus uncontrolled.
"The group of globalists that took Trump to power needs a one-man command chain in the U.S. and in Europe, while Germany will serve as its center. That's why this group is betting on weak and controlled politician in France and will bet on 'a strong,' though also controlled, politician in Germany, since Germany should serve as Europe's owner (or a top-manager)."
(Ria.ru, April 25, 2017)
Senator Pushkov: Macron's Failure Will Lead To Le Pen's Victory in 2022
Senator Alexey Pushkov tweeted: "Macron is blurred, unpersuasive. If he fails like Hollande, his predicted victory on May 7 will be just a delayed victory for Le Pen in 2022."
(Twitter.com/Alexey_Pushkov, April 25, 2017)
(Source: Twitter.com/Alexey_Pushkov, April 25, 2017)
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zakharova: Macron Is Violating Media Rights
Macron denies accreditation to Sputnik and RT journalists. (Source: Sputniknews.com, April 28, 2017)
Recently, Macron's campaign team denied accreditation to two Russian state-backed media outlets, RT and Sputnik, accusing them of spreading "propaganda" and of publishing "misleading information." Commenting on Macron's decision, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova said: "We noted what we see as an outrageous decision to deny accreditation to three Russian media outlets – Sputnik, RT, and Ruptly video news agency [specializing in video on-demand and part of the RT televised news network] – accepted by the French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s electoral staff. It should be mentioned that these Russian media outlets submitted their relevant repeated requests in good time and observed all the formalities. Given that no obstacles were put in the way of other foreign media, we regard these prohibitive measures as purposeful and blatant discrimination of the Russian media by a candidate to the presidency of a state that historically stood up for freedom of speech.
"Regrettably, this latest encroachment on the rights of the mass media by the Macron team fits in well with his associates' earlier unsupported accusations against RT and Sputnik, including allegations that they influence the democratic life of the country. We think that democratic life can really be influenced by unhindered media operations promoting the pluralism of opinions and providing people with more opportunities to access information, including alternative points of view.
"Many international acts, including the OSCE's Astana final document of 2010, emphasized the special role of the media in ensuring free and honest elections. However, despite their ostensible public defense of democratic values, French politicians disregard certain human rights imperatives formalized at top level.
"We call on specialized international organizations and the relevant authorities of the French Republic to pay special attention to the violation of media rights in the course of the presidential elections [in France], and take steps to prevent these encroachments from being repeated during the second electoral round in May."
 See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 6886, French Elections Seen From Russia, April 21, 2017; Special Dispatch No. 6896, Russia This Week – April 25-27, 2017, April 27, 2017; 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; Special Dispatch No. 6780, French Elections - The Moscow Times: Russia Launches Operation 'Anyone But Macron', February 13, 2017; MEMRI TV Clip No. 5918, Russian National Security Council Consultant: The Rothschilds Are Behind French Presidential Candidate Macron, February 23, 2017.
 France24.com, April 29, 2017.