Macron’s victory means all hope is lost for better French-Russian relations


Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hands with French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, on March 24, 2017. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hands with French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, on March 24, 2017. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
By Roman Dobrokhotov

Yesterday, Emmanuel Macron was elected president of France.

On this occasion, Hillary Clinton tweeted: “Victory for Macron, for France, the EU, & the world. Defeat to those interfering with democracy. (But the media says I can’t talk about that)”.

What Macron’s victory means for France and the European Union, we are soon to find out. But we already know what it means for Russia – all hope is lost that Moscow can have good relations with Paris, a key EU player. And the Kremlin has only itself to blame for this.

As early as February, Macron’s campaign announced that some of its members are being targeted by a phishing attack from Russian hackers. In the beginning, not many took this seriously, but in April Japanese company Trend Micro confirmed that according to its analysis Fancy Bear hackers (also known as Pawn Storm and APT28) launched the attack. This is the same group which earlier attacked the servers of the Democratic Party in the United States and has targeted many other Western countries.

After the hackers released the Macron campaign’s correspondence, the name of Georgiy Petrovich Roshka was found in the metadata of some emails. Roshka, as it turns out, works for a company affiliated with Russia’s defence ministry which has been known to be in contact with hackers. If anyone had doubted the links between Fancy Bear and the Russian authorities, now the Kremlin served the evidence on a silver platter.

On top of all this, Russian state TV, just a day before the elections aired a report on the leaks, claiming that they reveal that Macron is addicted to cocaine and that that he has money in offshore companies. All that despite the fact that the claims about Macron’s offshore activities had been disproved as fake news long before the leaks and in fact had nothing to do with them.

So, why did those who took the decision to release the leaks do it just a day before the elections when all polls were clearly showing that Macron was to win? It is difficult to say. Perhaps the propaganda machine has its own inertia and once it is mobilised, it is difficult to stop it.

In any case, it is difficult to imagine that the new French government will be up for a close partnership with Russia. Even Macron for some reason wanted it, his voters would not forgive him for it.

It is striking that lately, Russia has been falling into its own trap time and time again. This has happened even with relations with countries that used to be loyal to Moscow. One of these was Montenegro, a Balkan country where the population always welcomed Russian tourists. But after the country embarked on a NATO membership path, Russia tried to set up a state coup d’etat and of course failed. The fallout of the attempted coup was that the Montenegrin parliament ratified the NATO membership papers quickly while relations with Moscow deteriorated. Even Russian-Serbian relations were affected after it became clear that the putschists were conspiring in Serbia. Russian state TV and the foreign ministry soon started a campaign claiming that Montenegrin resorts were terrible and that it was dangerous for Russian tourists to go there (the number of Russian tourists in Montenegro has indeed never been lower).

It is difficult to find a European country which still has not faced Russian interference in its domestic affairs – whether through hackers, propaganda or Russian-sponsored nationalist movements. The result is always the same – deterioration of relations.

Some might say that the Kremlin’s tactic is not that bad if it worked so well in the most powerful country in the world – the US. But that’s not completely true. Yes, you can win a lot if you bet on zero, but it is clear that this is not a good strategy to put into work all the time. Donald Trump quickly had to stop being a pro-Russian president exactly because Russian interference in the elections angered American voters. Even if Trump was ready to make concessions to the Kremlin in the beginning, he now has to work hard to prove that he is not Moscow’s marionette.

His decision to strike the Syrian regime’s airbase was part of that. In Russia, as hope for close cooperation is diminishing, Russian state media has stopped praising Trump, although it hasn’t yet started lambasting him. The Kremlin is taking it slowly, awaiting the meeting between Trump and Putin in July. However, that concludes, it is already clear that the US will not change its position on the two main issues: Crimea and Assad.

It is possible that Putin is aware that his aggressive foreign policies will get him in trouble with half of the world, but is not afraid of it because international isolation in part helps him consolidate his power at home. Presidential elections are coming soon in Russia. The main opposition candidate, Aleksey Navalny, was banned from running and potentially mass protests are coming.

In these circumstances, internal stability is more important for Putin than international popularity. Domestically, in a state of economic crisis, nothing can mobilise the electorate better than the public perception that Russia is surrounded by enemies. If this is indeed so, then this is bad news for all Western countries which are soon to have elections.

Roman Dobrokhotov is a Moscow-based journalist and civil activist. He is the editor-in-chief of The Insider.
Al Jazeera



28 responses to “Macron’s victory means all hope is lost for better French-Russian relations”

    1. Keep the moronic links coming! 🙂

      1. HebAlba Avatar

        Keep insulting Lebanese papers.
        Zionist keyboard warrior, your only paid job, an automate.
        Those who have their own opinion, not your slave, is a moronic moron.
        Your eloquence is deafening..waaaah…

        1. I am insulting Lebanese morons. Are you Lebanese? You almost never comment on Lebanese affairs. 99% of the time it’s Jooz, Jooz, Jooz. Looks kinda suspicious… 🙂

          1. HebAlba Avatar

            There are no Lebanese affairs on yalibnan,. boring, Lebanon ordinary citizens have no access to beaches.
            Saudi Haririri father and son sold Lebanon to your cousins

          2. Niemals Avatar

            Correct, this Lebanese hardly comments Lebanese affairs, not with her Tweeter account.

            This anti-European and anti-Jews is suddenly herself again, no longer HebAlba – now it is crystal-clear that it is the same that sets out to provoke strong reactions and, given his subject matter, doubtless if she will succeed.

            Her latest subject is the Israel’s new bill stripping Arabic of official status.

            If Israel’s new bill stripping Arabic of official status,
   why Israel use Arabic in official documents?
            Israeli biometric documentation

  1. HebAlba Avatar

    France election 2017 is a fraud, rigged by European Union masters of deceit; it must be annulled – Her Knowledgeable Professor Alexia Thomas demands ON MAY 7, 20175:31 PMIN NEWSCOMMENTS

  2. HebAlba Avatar

    Arab man appears to remove Le Pen ballots from polling station

    1. The Arab Nazi retard wants Le Pen fille to be president. I bet the latter’s love for the Arabs plays a large role in this.

    2. man-o-war Avatar

      Infowars? Hind please use more credible sources for this type of information. Alex Jones also thinks the government is turning frogs gay. His lawyer also recently stated that “Alex Jones” is a performance artist, not a journalist or anything remotely close. He has no credibility.

      Le Pen is a xenophobic religious bigot and not good for France.

      1. HebAlba Avatar

        Please tell me; this is serious what press you trust?
        1-I know about Jones but he used French media.
        2- Marine Le Pen is not her fathers party.
        3- Le Pen wants to save France from the European Union Globalism, Macron refuse France National anthem, later he strode alone almost grimly through the courtyard of the Louvre Palace in central Paris to the strains of the EU anthem, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, not breaking into a smile until he mounted the stage of his victory rally to the cheers of his partying supporters.
        (comments are “closed”)

        ‘Voter Fraud Occurring At The French Presidential Election (video unavailabe)

        ‘Emmanuel Macron, Syria, North Korea: Your Tuesday Briefing’

        1. man-o-war Avatar

          I don’t trust just one news source. I try to get different view points from both sides of arguments form as many sources as possible.
          My point is Alex Jones is not in the least bit credible. The man thinks government is turning frogs gay. The man thinks that the Sandy Hook massacre was staged and all the dead children were actors. The man is insane and just a couple of weeks his defense is that people shouldn’t take him seriously because “Alex Jones” is a performance artist. He is a moron and a joke.

          Marine Le Pen is not her fathers party, but she was raised by her father, was she not? You don’t think those attitudes and views are transferred a little to the children?

          Marine Le Pen is anti immigrants. Marine Le Pen is anti Islam. I’m glad the French people were wise enough to reject her hate , wish Americans would have done something similar. Unfortunately they didn’t and America is stuck with the dumbest president to ever hold public office in the world.

          The article is written by an Infowars writer who is also a white nationalist trying to push an anti-immigrant anti-Muslim agenda. What makes you think its from the French Media?

          The people that support Le Pen are the same mindset as Trump supporters. Anti-Immigrant Anti-Muslim white nationalist.

          Just look at the title of the article you posted. “Arab man appears to remove Le Pen ballots” why does it matter he was an Arab man, why not a French citizen “appears”?

          1. HebAlba Avatar

            That’s exactly my case i wen’t go to Arab news, France, NYT.

            I’m very attached and love France, have family there, was educated by French in Lebanon schools.

          2. man-o-war Avatar

            You go to Arab news, French News, and the NYT, but here you posted something from infowars. Not a credible source.

            The French were the colonial power in Lebanon so I understand the connection. Many Lebanese feel the same way you do about France .

            However, you seem to be supporting Le Pen who is anti-immigrant and anti-Islam. She would be against any non-French being in France as are her supporters, no?

          3. HebAlba Avatar

            Dear mano, i can’t sleep at night because of Isis atrocities all over ME Arab countries since 2011 infiltrating Lebanon’s northern borders, I’m horrified.

            Don’t you have sympathy for France bombing destruction? (not from Syrian refugees) Wahhabi financed ISIS Jihad.
            Le Pen is not anti-Islam, France have Algerian, Marocan, they’re not ISIS Jihadi. ISIS is NOT ISLAM.

            In 2011 Zionist Sarkozy was France President, he knew what will happen to Christians in Syria before it happened, he warned Patriarch Al Rai.

            Let me tell you clearly, i’m anti-globalist, anti-Euro, against destruction of European countries culture and identities
            (like they did to Palestinians).
            Le Pen wanted out of the Euro against US Israel Turkey Merkel Cameron McCain War on Syria.
            Macron is Rothschild’s man, as Balfour was Rothschild servant.

          4. Rudy1947 Avatar

            You poor dear, the world has you depressed. Think of it a different way, most of the world doesn’t know you exist or really care. Hope you sleep better tonight.

          5. HebAlba Avatar

            Never said i was depressed.
            I know your Zionist regime supports ISIS..;-)

          6. Rudy1947 Avatar

            I know, I did. But the world could care less about your personal problems.

          7. HebAlba Avatar

            It’s not personal problems, osso buco, i care about the World,
            i care less about corrupted filthy Zionists crooks..

          8. Israel bombing ISIS friends in Sinai and Golan, don’t be fake

          9. man-o-war Avatar

            Of course I have sympathy for France and any country/peoples suffering from the atrocities committed by terrorist.

            Le Pen is most certainly anti-Islam and anti-immigrants. She’s been pretty clear about her positions. It is disguised as wanting to preserve French culture, means we don’t want foreigners here. Especially Muslim ones. I know there’s lots of North Africans living in France for a very long time now and they are not welcome by people who support Le Pen.

            ” against destruction of European countries culture and identities” This is what I’m talking about, the white nationalist are using this line to try and make their anti-immigrant stance more PC. The French and many other European countries had no problem going around the world for hundreds of years and destroying peoples cultures and identities.

            These same people who think like this support Le Pen and would not be welcoming to your Lebanese family living in France.

          10. HebAlba Avatar

            This would be a long discussion it’s the lions arena with Israeli lobbyists on YaLibnan crying “anti-Semite”..

          11. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            Ideological and Geopolitical Origins of the EU, Part I: Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi’s Pan-Europa

            “The man of the future will be of mixed race. Today’s races and castes will gradually disappear owing to the vanishing of space, time, and prejudice.
            The Eurasian-Negroid race of the future, similar in its appearance to the Ancient Egyptians, will replace the diversity of peoples with a diversity of individuals.[xii]”

            “This creation of a new Europe, a Pan-Europe, based on new ideals of social democracy rather than feudal aristocracy and a new European identity deprived of its ethnic characteristics, would be overseen, according to Kalergi, by a “social aristocracy of the spirit”[xvii].

            He claims that the traits — “[s]trength of character combined with sharpness of spirit” — that are required for the spiritual aristocratic leadership of Europe can be found in the Jewish people alone. These traits, peculiar to the Jewish as a people, “predestine” them “to be leaders of urban humanity, the protagonists of capitalism as well as the revolution.”

            But it is “the Jewish Socialist leaders” who “want to redeem us with the highest self-denial from the original sin of capitalism, free people from injustice, violence and serfdom and change the liberated world into an earthly paradise”[xviii]. Further, he wrote: “

          12. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            “Marine Le Pen is anti immigrants”..
            She’s anti Euro, against War in Syria.

            The genocidal Kalergi plan to destroy the
            indigenous nations and peoples of Europe”.

  3. “Macron’s victory means all hope is lost for better French-Russian relations.”

    Not sure about this. Sadly, France’s ruling class is notoriously venal and unprincipled.

  4. HebAlba Avatar

    France election 2017 is a fraud, rigged by European Union masters of deceit; it must be annulled – Her Knowledgeable Professor Alexia Thomas demands ON MAY 7, 20175:31 PMIN NEWSCOMMENTS

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