Russian opponent Alexei Navalny called on Wednesday April 20 to vote in favor of Emmanuel Macron in the second round of the French presidential election, accusing the party of his rival Marine Le Pen of compromising with Vladimir Putin.
In a series of tweets in Russian and French, Alexeï Navalny said to himself “shocked” the loan of 9 million euros contracted in 2014 by the National Front (now National Rally) from a Czech-Russian bank. “It’s corruption. And this is a sale of political influence to Putin”denounced the opponent, imprisoned in Russia since January 2021.
3/18 It is without hesitation that I call on the French people to vote for @EmmanuelMacron April 24, but I would like to address those who do not rule out voting for @MLP_official. I would like to talk to you about corruption and conservatism.
— Alexey Navalny (@navalny) April 20, 2022
“Believe me, this is not just a ‘dodgy deal’, continued the anti-corruption campaigner. This bank is Putin’s well-known money laundering office. Would you like a French politician to take out a loan from Cosa Nostra (the Sicilian Mafia, Editor’s note) ? »
Marine Le Pen reluctant to express solidarity with Ukraine
The far-right candidate for the presidency of the Republic has often in the past shown her sympathy for Vladimir Putin and his politics. An ideological proximity that Alexeï Navalny sharply criticizes. “Anyone who calls himself a ‘conservative’ and sympathizes with Putin is in fact a hypocrite without a conscience”, he snaps again.
→ ANALYSIS. Presidential 2022: when Putin stirs up trouble in the campaign
Since the start of the invasion, Marine Le Pen has been cautious about her past statements, which were rather laudatory towards the master of the Kremlin. The candidate renounces to pronounce too openly on the conflict in progress.
The far-right candidate, however, condemned the attack and said that Ukrainian refugees must be welcomed, regardless of whether it distinguishes them from those from Afghanistan or Syria, all of whom are protected by the Geneva Convention.
However, Marine Le Pen is still calling for the lifting of sanctions against Russia for its annexation of Crimea in 2014, deemed illegal by the international community. She also refuses to call Vladimir Putin a “war criminal” or of “dictator”. While admitting “war crimes” after the discovery of hundreds of bodies of civilians in the kyiv region.
An “alliance” with Russia
After declaring that the Russian president could ” of course “ become an ally of France again, Marine Le Pen made it clear that she meant Russia. She proposes in her presidential project a “covenant” with Russia, to include it “in a European security architecture which cannot be confused with NATO alone”, considered as a “warmongering organization”.
→ EXPLANATION. NATO: what the main candidates for the 2022 presidential election say
A choice that would come back “to break up the Atlantic Alliance” as well as “turning a blind eye to various forms of hybrid warfare” of Russia likely to penalize France, as in Mali with the Wagner company or in cyber matters, according to the think tank Terra Nova, classified on the left.