28th May 2022

More French names linked to Russia election-monitoring

  • French former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn (r) was on the list, according to Le Canard enchaîné (Photo:
Listen to article

Russia invited even more French personalities than previously reported to whitewash its dirty elections last weekend.

It invited centre-right MEP François-Xavier Bellamy, far-right MEP Nicolas Bay, and a far-right local politician called Frédéric Boccaletti, according to French weekly magazine Le Canard enchaîné.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

It also invited Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a French former International Monetary Fund chief, who fell from grace in a sex scandal and became a lobbyist, including for Russian oil firm Rosneft.

In the end, Bellamy did not go, his office told EUobserver on Thursday.

Bay also stayed home.

But three other French MEPs from Marine Le Pen's National Rally (RN) party - Hervé Juvin, Jean-Lin Lacapelle, and Thierry Mariani - did also go, as previously reported by EUobserver.

They flew out on 13 September on an all-expenses paid basis and stayed at the Radisson hotel in Moscow, where they had dinner and cocktails on its boat, Le Canard enchaîné noted.

They were meant to stay until 22 September.

But some of the French observers went home on 18 September, one day before the election, which they praised anyway in glowing terms, Le Canard enchaîné said.

The French delegation also included more than 10 other national MPs, local politicians, and assorted personalities, such as a retired ambassador, according to EUobserver's sources.

A handful of German and Slovak MEPs and other figures went as well.

The reason why some RN invitees, such as Bay, got cold feet was because Le Pen did not want her party to look too pro-Russian in France ahead of French presidential elections next year, Le Canard enchaîné added.

And she instructed Mariani and others not to tweet from Russia, the French magazine said.

The Russian elections were boycotted by normal monitors from EU and pan-European institutions, not least because Russian president Vladimir Putin had locked up or excluded the opposition.

For its part, the European Parliament (EP) has a blacklist of fake election monitors, which it aims to update in the next few weeks.

Those put on it are banned from going on official EP observation missions for a temporary period.

Bogus monitoring is also a worry for NGOs, such as the Berlin-based European Platform for Democratic Elections, because it undermines the work of legitimate observers.

It was an "urgent" and growing problem, the NGO's director, Stefanie Schiffer, recently told this website.

It was also "a gateway to corruption, via financial gifts or even games of [sexual] seduction, which later creates corrupt networks in European institutions," she said.

And for its part, RN took Russian money under the table to fund its campaign for the last French presidential election in 2017, according to former revelations by French investigative website Mediapart.


French MEPs lead bogus EU monitoring of Russia vote

At least five MEPs and several minor politicians from EU states, many of them French, have spent the past few days in Russia peddling propaganda that its elections were free and fair.

France aims for EU minimum-tax deal in June

EU Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis said on Tuesday that Poland's recovery plan could be approved within a week. This could also help unblock Warsaw's reluctance to agree to the tax deal.


When Reagan met Gorbachev — a history lesson for Putin

Neither Reagan nor Gorbachev achieved their goal at the famous Reykjavik summit of 1986. Despite that fact there are lessons that current leaders — particularly Vladimir Putin — could adopt from these two iconic leaders.


Orbán's overtures to Moscow are distasteful and detrimental

Some Western European politicians are reviving the chimera of a negotiated settlement. None of this makes the current, half-hearted approach towards sanctioning Russia look better — nor does it shed any favourable light on the cravenness of Hungary's current government.

News in Brief

  1. Dutch journalists sue EU over banned Russia TV channels
  2. EU holding €23bn of Russian bank reserves
  3. Russia speeds up passport process in occupied Ukraine
  4. Palestinian civil society denounce Metsola's Israel visit
  5. Johnson refuses to resign after Downing Street parties report
  6. EU border police has over 2,000 agents deployed
  7. Dutch tax authorities to admit to institutional racism
  8. Rutte calls for EU pension and labour reforms

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic delegation visits Nordic Bridges in Canada
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersClear to proceed - green shipping corridors in the Nordic Region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers agree on international climate commitments
  4. UNESDA - SOFT DRINKS EUROPEEfficient waste collection schemes, closed-loop recycling and access to recycled content are crucial to transition to a circular economy in Europe
  5. UiPathNo digital future for the EU without Intelligent Automation? Online briefing Link

Latest News

  1. EU summit will be 'unwavering' on arms for Ukraine
  2. Orbán's new state of emergency under fire
  3. EU parliament prevaricates on barring Russian lobbyists
  4. Ukraine lawyer enlists EU watchdog against Russian oil
  5. Right of Reply: Hungarian government
  6. When Reagan met Gorbachev — a history lesson for Putin
  7. Orbán oil veto to deface EU summit on Ukraine
  8. France aims for EU minimum-tax deal in June

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us