Support The Moscow Times!

Top Fillon Supporter Dines in Moscow as France Fears Kremlin Election Interference

Francois Fillon Remi Jouan / Wikicommons

A close associate of French presidential candidate Francois Fillon has come under fire for attending a gala dinner in Moscow on Sunday.

Thierry Mariani, a member of France’s National Assembly, had been a vocal supporter for Fillon in the run-up to primaries for the French Republican party on Sunday. Fillon won in the election against his rival Alain Juppe, securing 66 percent of the vote.

Mariani’s presence in Moscow taps into French fears that Fillon is being backed as a Kremlin-friendly candidate.

Russia at the heart of Paris: Read more on how France's presidential elections are set to be a win-win for the Kremlin.

Russian state media have previously praised Fillon as “a friend of Russia,” while the former Prime Minister has been described as “outstanding” by Putin himself.

Marine Le Pen, the French presidential candidate for the far-right Front National, has already admitted to receiving money from Russia to fund her campaign.

Mariani defended his trip to the Russian capital, claiming on Twitter that he was in Moscow to speak with French voters in the city.

"How is Putin?" one Twitter user asked. "Is he also taking part in the primaries with his rubles?"
"Be more original!", Marianai replied. "I am elected by French people living abroad and French people in Russia are my electorate- so it's normal!"

Mariani, who has been dubbed “the voice of Russia” by French newspaper Le Monde, previously triggered condemnation in Paris when he visited the Russian-annexed Crimean peninsula in 2015.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more