The Free Russia Foundation, a US think tank, has published a report examining pro-Russian political forces in France, arguing that the leading lobbyists for Russian interests are French politicians loyal to the Kremlin. According to the report, these politicians include far-right figure Marine Le Pen and former Prime Minister François Fillon along with representatives of the media, business, and civil society:
Alexandra Yatsyk examines pro-Russian political forces and groups in France ahead of the 2022 presidential elections. As the author writes, while the upcoming elections are a critical event in France deeply affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, they are also crucial for Moscow, which has a very real chance to see a loyal candidate win the presidency. Although Russia did not figure very prominently in France’s domestic discourse over 2020–2021, the far right’s agenda, including criticism of Prime Minister Jean Castex’s new security policy and the promotion of various conspiracies serves the Kremlin without even having to mention Russia itself. Nevertheless, during the pandemic, the Kremlin did hold an active awareness campaign in the context of its “vaccination policy” via French media channels loyal to Russia and by bribing new social influencers.
Read the full report here.