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The results of the parliamentary elections in France called a warning to European politicians

The search for a compromise with the new composition of the government will become more difficult

On June 19, it became known that the coalition of French President Emmanuel Macron “Together!” did not receive an absolute majority of seats in the National Assembly in the second round of parliamentary elections. Political scientist Yuri Svetov believes that without the advantage in parliament of the ruling party, it will be more difficult for Macron to promote unpopular reforms.

Photo: Global Look Press

In an interview with Vechernyaya Moskva, Svetov explained that during the presidential elections Macron managed to stop the questions that the French had for him. In particular, this concerns questions about the standard of living and problems against the background of support for sanctions against Russia. According to the political scientist, the current president managed to reverse this trend, since Marine Le Pen became the main enemy. The expert noted that Macron played the game for the second time, that the French would collapse if they got Le Pen, but after the presidential elections there were no prospects for improving the situation.

In addition, according to Svetov, the French see Macron's involvement in the conflict in Ukraine and think that Ukrainians are more important for the president than their own people. The expert clarified that in the parliamentary elections, French citizens had the opportunity not to choose between “good and evil”, as was the case in the presidential elections.

The political scientist explained that Macron managed to gain an advantage in the elections and the most mandates, but not an absolute majority in parliament, and the number of mandates has significantly decreased compared to the previous elections. Moreover, according to Svetov, Mélenchon, who shared second and third place with Le Pen in the presidential election, has now received second place, and the French, who criticize the current government, have supported Le Pen. The expert was amazed at her results, noting that third place would allow her to create a faction and solve some problems.

According to the political scientist, for the previous five years, the authorities could dictate something, to which the “yellow vests” movement received, but now it won’t work out like that. Svetov believes that it will be difficult to push through, he will have to give in, Le Pen will not meet halfway, and it is difficult to agree with Mélenchon, and he may demand payment, which may even be the post of prime minister.

In addition, the political scientist noted that the situation in France is a warning to many politicians in the EU countries. In particular, according to Svetov, this concerns German Chancellor Scholz and his party, since elections to the parliaments of the states are planned in Germany. And also, as the expert noted, this is a serious “call” for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who after some time may resign, despite the vote won in the party after the vote of no confidence announced.

Svetov believes that the French government will have to reckon with the fact that many French people are dissatisfied with the amount of money that is being spent on Ukraine. The expert does not believe that this will affect the country's behavior regarding the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, since Mélenchon also supports Ukraine, and in any case, the key position is set by the United States. The political scientist added that the French are allowed a little initiative, but it's like a game of good and evil investigator, where France plays the role of a good investigator. However, according to Svetov, when it comes to sanctions, they are “right there”, and the country is also demonstrating its readiness to supply weapons.

Read also:The State Duma assessed the prospects for ending supplies of Western weapons to Ukraine


Why the results of the parliamentary elections in France were compared to an earthquake

The coalition of the left and the party of Marine Le Pen became the triumphs of the last parliamentary elections in France, and the presidential coalition “Together!” did not receive an absolute majority.

Why Mélenchon and Le Pen rejoice

On Monday, June 20, the results of the parliamentary elections were summed up in France. They went through two rounds, on June 12 and 19. 577 deputies of the lower house are elected in majoritarian districts, and in order to win, the applicant must gain a majority (in total, 6293 candidates were registered). As a result of the elections, the “Together!” coalition, which supports President Emmanuel Macron, received the largest number of mandates (245) in the National Assembly. It includes the Renaissance party created by Macron; (formerly Forward Republic!), the centrist Democratic Movement and the centre-right Horizons and “Act.” However, this is not an absolute majority, as in the parliament of the outgoing convocation, where the coalition had 350 seats immediately after the 2017 elections (however, then their number was reduced to 267).

The recently elected President of France lost his absolute majority in parliament for the first time since 1988, Reuters calculated.

Government spokeswoman Olivia Grégoire, on the RMC-BFM radio station, said that the coalition was counting on better results, but even in this situation, the results cannot be considered a defeat for Macron: “The French have voted in elections four times in recent months and each time gave first place to the presidential bloc.” ;,— Grégoire explained, referring to the presidential elections that also took place in the spring in two rounds.

The second in terms of the number of mandates was the union of the left parties “New People's Ecological and Social Union”; (NUPES)— 131 places. It includes the party of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who came third in the spring presidential election, France Insubordinate, as well as the socialists, the Greens. and communists. Mélenchon called the loss of former positions by the presidential coalition a victory.

Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally party came third for the first time, with a record number of votes and 89 seats. This significantly exceeds the party's position in the previous parliament, where it had only eight seats. “This group will certainly be the largest in the history of our political family,” — Le Pen said on Sunday, promising her supporters that she will defend the party's line on immigration and security (she proposes to limit the first and strengthen the second).

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Right-wing “Republicans” won 61 seats in the elections. According to The New York Times, this party— one of the main candidates for partners of the presidential bloc, capable of giving an “active majority”, but in this case, “Together!” concessions will have to be made and Macron will be much more dependent on his centrist allies than during his first term.

What the election results mean for Macron

The change in the balance of power in parliament means that Macron will not be able to carry out the planned reforms, relying only on his supporters: the success of the initiatives will depend on his ability to rally moderate forces outside the alliance. “There is nothing worse than adding disorder in France to disorder throughout the world,” — he said before the second round.

Melenchon has already promised that the second place of his coalition will allow him to block all Macron's initiatives. Moreover, on July 5, the left plans to put forward a vote of no confidence in the head of state in parliament. However, even in alliance with Le Pen, they will not have enough votes to carry it through. The prospect of changing the prime minister also looks unrealistic. After the re-election, Macron appointed Elisabeth Born as head of government, in the parliamentary elections she was re-elected in her constituency. Considering this and the overall result of the party, the second woman prime minister in the history of France is likely to retain her post.

Nevertheless, French newspapers and members of the government describe the election results as a shock to the ruling forces. Finance Minister Bruno Le Mer called them a “democratic shock”. If other parties do not cooperate with the pro-presidential alliance, he said, “it will block our ability to reform and protect the French,” Reuters reports.

“Result” risk for our country in the light of the challenges we face, — Born said. According to her, from Monday, work will begin “on the creation of an active majority” capable of working effectively on legislation.

The economic publication Les Echos compared the election results to an earthquake.

The situation for the president is difficult, but not catastrophic, Sergey Fedorov, a leading researcher at the Department of Social and Political Research at the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences, commented to RBC, although the loss of an absolute majority in the National Assembly by the presidential coalition will certainly make it difficult to pass presidential initiatives through the lower house. Fedorov is also of the opinion that the most likely allies of Vmeste! Republicans may be able to provide the missing 44 seats for an absolute majority, since “many of them are already close enough to the Macron camp.” However, such an alliance may raise the question of the Republican Party’s own political face, which is already in a “foggy position”, the expert stipulates.

Speaking of the extreme measures that Macron can take, Fedorov notes the president’s right dissolve the Parliament according to Art. 12 of the Constitution. In this case, repeated elections will be scheduled, but there is a risk that the results of the president’s supporters will be even more unsatisfactory: “Perhaps in the future, if it becomes clear that the situation is deadlocked and the work of the parliament in such a composition is impossible, the president will resort to such a decision . But now he is unlikely to go for it.

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France stopped receiving gas from Germany amid a decline in supplies from Russia

France has stopped receiving gas from Germany since June 15. Earlier, Gazprom announced that it was forced to reduce supplies via Nord Stream, as turbines were not returned to it from repair on time and technical malfunctions were identified

Gas supplies to France from Germany stopped for amid a decline in Russian gas exports to the European Union, Reuters reports with reference to the French pipeline operator GRTgaz.

Meanwhile, the operator noted that he sees no problems with gas supplies to France this summer, since the decrease in their volumes from Germany is compensated, among other things, by an increase in imports from Spain. According to GRTgaz, gas storage facilities in France are 56% full, which is 6% higher than usual at this time of the year.

European companies this week faced a reduction in Russian gas supplies. This was announced by French Engie, Austrian OMV, Italian Eni and German Uniper. In particular, the latter reported that she received a quarter less fuel from Russia than provided for in the contract.

The reason was the reduction of “Gazprom” gas supplies via Nord Stream. On June 14, they decreased by 40%. The company cited the situation at the Portovaya compressor station as the reason. in Vyborg. According to the operator, the German company Siemens did not return the gas pumping units from repair in time. In addition, technical malfunctions of the engines were identified, Gazprom reported.

The next day, the operator suspended the operation of another turbine, due to which the pumping was reduced by another third. The turbine was stopped before overhaul due to the end of the overhaul period.

Siemens, in turn, explained that they could not return the turbines for Nord Stream. from repairs due to Canadian sanctions (turbines are produced in this country).

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Businessman Kuzmichev lost the court on the disclosure of his addresses in France

The French regulator considered the disclosure of the addresses of the house and villa of the Russian businessman “proportionate” to the circumstances ” alt=”Businessman Kuzmichev lost the lawsuit on the disclosure of his addresses in France” />

Alexey Kuzmichev

The Supreme Court of France dismissed the claim of the Russian businessman, co-founder of Letter One and Alfa Group; Alexey Kuzmichev, who disputed the publication by the country's authorities of data on the location of his house in Paris and a villa on the Riviera, Bloomberg reported.

In March, Kuzmichev came under EU sanctions, which include an asset freeze and an entry ban. After that, the businessman's property was frozen, and the addresses of his house and villa were made public.

Kuzmichev said that the publication of this information endangered the life of his family, and demanded that the decree issued by the French authorities in April be suspended. This document provided for the publication on the Internet of real estate addresses of businessmen from Russia.

A French court dismissed Kuzmichev's claim, stating that the French privacy regulator recognized such publications as “proportionate”; circumstances. It added that the disclosure of information about the property will avoid its lease or sale under a private agreement between companies in the form of shares.

RBC sent a request to Letter One.

In late February, the European Union imposed sanctions against a number of Russian businessmen, including against the co-owners of Letter One, Mikhail Fridman and Petr Aven (they later challenged this decision in court). In mid-March, some other Russian entrepreneurs also came under EU restrictive measures, including the co-founders of Alfa Group; German Khan and Alexey Kuzmichev.

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In the ranking of the richest Russians, according to Forbes, Kuzmichev takes 20th place. The publication estimates his fortune at $6 billion.

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Macron announced the entry of France into the period of the war economy

Macron instructed the French Ministry of Defense to revise the law on military spending /v6_top_pics/media/img/7/07/756551214642077.jpg” alt=”Macron announced France's entry into a period of war economy” />

Emmanuel Macron (center)

France has entered a period of war economy in which the country can no longer live with “year-old spending programming.” This was stated by the French leader Emmanuel Macron at the opening of the international exhibition of the arms industry Eurosatory 2022.

“I asked the Minister [of Defense of France] and the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces to re-evaluate the law on military programming in the coming weeks, taking into account the geopolitical context.” ;,— he said.

Macron expressed confidence that France will be able to “organize” in the long term.

The Defense Programming Law aims to establish a multi-year spending program that Paris allocates to the armed forces.

The French President started increasing defense spending back in 2017. According to BFM TV, the budget of the French Ministry of Defense will increase again in 2022 to €40.9 billion in accordance with the plan for 2019–2025.

The French leader stressed that the growth of threats, including the start of a special operation Russia in Ukraine, make Paris “act faster” in this question.

Macron also called for the strengthening of the European defense industry, which should be “much stronger” in light of increased military needs due to the situation in Ukraine. “We need to create a much stronger European defense industry and industrial and technological base,” — he said.

Read on RBC Pro Pro The US market has reached a fair assessment. This is evidenced by the “Rule 20” and can it be prevented? p>Earlier, on June 10, Macron held a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which he asked him about the needs for military equipment, political and financial support and humanitarian assistance.

The French leader stressed that Paris remains mobilized for meet the needs of Kyiv, including in heavy weapons.

In mid-May, El Pais, citing documents from the European Commission, wrote that in the defense system of the EU countries “there are as many holes as there are soldier". Thus, in European countries, they revealed a very weak air defense of cities and infrastructure, a shortage of weapons and a lack of capacity for their production. In addition, in the event of a military conflict, Europe faces problems with logistics, and the military does not have encrypted satellite communications with European coverage, the newspaper noted.

The European Commission considered that the events in Ukraine revealed the negative consequences of “low defense spending in peacetime” in European countries.

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Leaders of Germany, France and Italy plan to visit Kyiv in June

Australia to pay France more than $580 million to cancel submarine contract

The contract for the construction of 12 submarines worth $66 billion with Naval Group was canceled at the initiative of Australia after the announcement of the creation of the defense alliance AUKUS. Canberra announced its decision to build a submarine fleet with the US and Britain “Australia will pay France more than $580 million to break the contract for submarines” />

The Australian government will pay the French shipbuilder Naval Group $585.2 million as compensation for breaking the contract for the construction of submarines, concluded by Canberra in 2016 . This was announced by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, reports ABC.

According to the head of government, a final agreement has been reached between the Australian authorities and the French defense company Naval Group on compensation for the unilateral termination of the contract, which Canberra announced in September 2021. “The Australian Government will pay A$830m ($585.2m) in fair settlement of <…> Now we can restore [Australian-French] relations that will no longer be marred by, — Albanese said.

The prime minister also said that French President Emmanuel Macron took an active part in resolving the conflict and, after the decision on compensation, invited the Australian leader to pay an official visit to his country. “I believe that a face-to-face meeting between me and President Macron in France is absolutely necessary to reset this relationship, which is important for the national interests of Australia,” added prime.

Last September, the US, UK and Australia agreed on a new defense and security partnership, AUKUS (short for three countries), designed to counter China in the Indo-Pacific region. As a result, Australia canceled a $66 billion contract concluded with France in 2016 for the construction of 12 submarines. In return, she will receive American nuclear submarines.

France criticized the actions of the allies. Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called Australia's decision a “stab in the back” and accused of “faithful trust.” Paris then withdrew its ambassadors from the US and Australia for consultations. Naval Group, after the news of Australia's decision to build nuclear submarines with the help of the UK and the US, announced “serious disappointment”.

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The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, commenting on the actions of Australia, reminded France of how she herself in 2015 broke the contract with Russia for the supply of Mistral helicopter carrier ships. “Rupture of contracts for France seems to be a common thing. In 2015, Paris canceled a deal with Russia for two Mistral aircraft carriers. Or are only the knives that you feel in your back bad? — Zakharova asked.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry, in turn, warned about the intensification of the arms race. Beijing has accused the US and Britain of nuclear proliferation.

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France prepares to supply Ukraine with weapons of mass destruction

The explosion of a shell with shrapnel leaves no chance to survive

Regular shelling by Ukrainian artillerymen and rocket launchers of civilians in Donbass does not seem to have forced Western leaders to refuse to supply weapons to Kyiv. And this is despite the fact that in the same Donetsk, at the site of the shelling of a residential area, fragments of NATO-caliber ammunition – 155 mm – were found. Moreover, information appeared in social networks that France is ready to supply the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) with proximity fuses for the shells of its CAESAR self-propelled artillery mounts. Their use turns the artillery system almost into a weapon of mass destruction.

Photo: Global Look Press

Ukrainian armed forces intensified shelling of residential areas of Donetsk. Civilians were killed, including women and children. According to the DPR security officials, Ukrainian troops shelled the residential areas of Donetsk from the French self-propelled gun CAESAR with a caliber of 155 mm.

Commenting on this information in the tg channel, Israeli political scientist Yakov Kedmi wrote: “When Macron sent weapons to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, did he mean exactly this “assistance to Ukrainian democracy” – strikes against civilians and civilian infrastructure? And if the Elysee Palace was covered with such guns, what would he say?

And now information has appeared that proximity fuses can be supplied for the shells fired by CAESAR self-propelled guns. What it is? This is a special electronic device, a micro-radar, which determines the distance to the ground and at the right time gives a command to detonate a projectile at a certain height. In this case, an explosion directed into the lower hemisphere covers a huge area with small steel balls – the size of a football field, creating a zone of continuous destruction. Neither walls nor trenches save us.

Now let's imagine that frostbitten Ukrainian artillerymen will cover some market or train station in Donetsk with such a projectile. There will be hundreds of victims. Has Macron completely lost his fear and scent? – political scientist Yulia Vityazeva asks a question in the tg-channel. Apparently, the question is rhetorical.

Earlier, the France2 TV channel reported that France had already transferred 18 CAESAR self-propelled guns to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

And the new French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna in Kyiv announced France's intention to transfer additional the number of 155-mm/52 CAESAR self-propelled howitzers. “Soon there will be new deliveries of CAESAR self-propelled artillery systems, and we will continue cooperation in this context,” said the head of French paramilitary diplomacy.


Manizha revealed the reason for her stay in France

Participant of “Eurovision-2021” From Russia, Manizha Sangin admitted that she is now in France because of her sister. She spoke about this in an interview with the Kommersant newspaper.

According to the singer, she came to support her sister, who has been living in France for a long time and had a serious accident, but was not badly injured.

Manizha added that in Russia will continue to give concerts for domestic charitable foundations. In addition, on June 13, she will perform at the Stereooleto festival. in St. Petersburg. At the same time, when asked by a journalist whether she was going to live in Moscow, she answered ambiguously.

«I am a person of the world, I have always defined myself as such, and my music is multinational, multilingual. It is very important for me to keep moving in this direction. I don’t guess exactly where I will live and work,” the singer said.

It was previously reported that Manizha was the first in Russia to join the series of exclusive studio recordings of Spotify Singles.

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Erdogan accuses Germany and France of protecting terrorists

He said that the police in France and Germany allow PKK members to march and speak in parliament, so Turkey cannot yet approve applications for NATO membership

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

In Germany, France and the Netherlands, PKK members are being protected. (PKK) and its offshoots, while Turkey has not yet received any documents guaranteeing the fulfillment of its requirements for the approval of the Swedish and Finnish applications to NATO, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during a speech in parliament.

«NATO— this is a security organization, not a terrorist organizations support organization,— he said (quote from TRT Haber).

According to him, members of the PKK, which is considered a terrorist organization in Turkey, hold marches with the participation of “leaders of terrorist organizations”; European countries, they are protected by the local police. In addition, Erdogan continued, they are allowed to speak in parliaments. He emphasized: “They go further and collect money by setting up tents in front of the European Court of Human Rights.” He wondered how Ankara could say “come and join NATO” while things like this are happening.

“Those who put pressure on our people by supporting the activities of PKK supporters, — not democrats, but fascists in their most primitive form,»,— concluded Erdogan (quote from SonDakika).

The Turkish President also urged not to resort to “games with letters”, calling the PKK otherwise— PYD (Kurdish Democratic Union Party), YPG (Kurdish YPG) or other names for “legalization” purposes. He pointed out that by doing so, the European countries “deceive themselves, not us.” And those who transfer weapons and military equipment to the PKK deserve the title “not a law-based state, but a terrorist one,” Erdogan believes.

“We cannot believe undocumented words. They must close all institutions associated with a terrorist organization, — summed up the President of Turkey.

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A few days after the interview was released, Erdogan called the conversation one of the evidence that Sweden is not taking the steps necessary to approve Turkey's NATO application. The TV channel then assured that a conversation with the leader of the PYD is an important element for understanding what is happening, in addition, the PYD is not considered a terrorist organization along with the PKK.

Sweden and Finland applied for membership to NATO in mid-May, explaining this decision by changes in the security sphere after the start of the Russian special operation in Ukraine. Helsinki and Stockholm assured that this decision was not directed against Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin called this step a mistake.

Ankara has blocked the approval of applications, it demands the end of “support for terrorists” and entering into a written agreement. The document will include the designation of the PKK and its offshoots as terrorist, the acceleration of the procedure for the extradition of its members to Turkey, Sabah sources said. At the end of May, negotiations were held between the parties, Erdogan was dissatisfied with their result. “The meeting of the delegations was not at the level we expected,” — he said, calling the representatives of Sweden and Finland “dishonest and insincere.”

French President Emmanuel Macron urged Turkey to “respect sovereign choice.” Sweden and Finland. At the same time, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenbrg pointed out the importance of taking into account Ankara's concerns. “Turkey is a valuable ally and any security issues must be resolved. We must be together at this historic moment,»— he thinks.

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Lavrov spoke about the role of France in inciting neo-Nazism in Ukraine

Foreign Minister Lavrov: Russia is sad to see France's support for neo-Nazism in Ukraine ” src=”” alt=”Lavrov announced the role of France in inciting neo-Nazism in Ukraine” />

Russia is sad to see how France plays one of the initiative roles in inciting neo-Nazism in Ukraine. This was stated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in an interview with the French TV channel TF1.

“Paris is actively arming Ukraine, including with offensive weapons. Demands to wage war “to a victorious end”, “to defeat Russia”. This only says that all our long-term appeals to the West with a call to negotiate on an equal footing were not only not heard, but deliberately ignored, — he stressed.

Lavrov summed up that Western countries, apparently, did not want equal cooperation with Russia.

At the same time, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry noted that Moscow sees the desire of Paris towards “strategic autonomy”. In particular, French leader Emmanuel Macron has repeatedly spoken about the need for a new security architecture for the European region, but “the United States does not allow anything to be done”, having completely subjugated Europe, Lavrov emphasized.

The material is being supplemented

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France allowed the introduction of the EU embargo on Russian oil “this week”

State Secretary of the French Foreign Ministry Clement Bon allowed the EU embargo on Russian oil until May 15 Secretary of State for European Affairs of the French Foreign Ministry Clement Bon said that the EU could take a decision on the embargo on Russian oil as early as this week. Today Emmanuel Macron will speak with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban France allowed the EU to impose an embargo on Russian oil “this week” />

The European Union may decide on an embargo on Russian oil this week, Clément Bon, Secretary of State for European Affairs of the French Foreign Ministry, said on the LCI TV channel. the sixth package of sanctions against Russia, which provides, in particular, a ban on the supply of crude oil, will appear in the coming days. Bon noted that “the rejection of Russian oil will be sensitive for a number of countries due to their heavy dependence on its supplies.”


Bon added that several European leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, are set to speak with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban later today. Budapest opposes phasing out Russian oil, believing it would undermine the security of the country's energy supply and its economy. Von der Leyen has previously said she has made progress in talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on sanctions and energy security.

According to the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, the European Union intends to refuse the supply of Russian crude oil within six months, and the import of refined products— by the end of 2022. Bloomberg and Reuters wrote that the European Union proposed to ban European courts and companies from providing services related to the transportation of Russian oil, including in the field of insurance.

On May 4, Reuters reported that the ambassadors of the EU countries had not reached an agreement on the embargo, according to the source of the agency, concerns about oil restrictions were expressed by Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Bloomberg noted that a Hungarian representative objected to the embargo, while Greece, Malta and Cyprus raised the issue of banning oil transportation between third countries, saying that this move would help competitors from Europe.

According to Bloomberg, on May 6, the European Union offered to give The Czech Republic has until June 2024 to give up Russian oil, while Hungary and Slovakia— until December 31, 2024.

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Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto spoke that Budapest would not vote for the sixth package in its current form, specifying that the country would like the ban not to apply to imports of crude oil through pipelines. countries.

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Ex-Prime Minister of France received a year in prison for embezzlement of funds for payments to his wife

The court found that the wife of former French Prime Minister François Fillon received a state salary for working as an assistant to her husband in parliament, which she did not actually do

Macron inaugurated in France

The re-elected president promised to build a “stronger France” and expressed confidence that the country would show its best in “difficult times.” The ceremony was attended by his predecessors Sarkozy and Hollande

Emmanuel Macron

The inauguration of French President Emmanuel Macron took place at the Elysee Palace. He officially took office as head of state for the next five years.

The ceremony began at 11:00 local time (12:00 Moscow time), according to France24. In total, it was attended by about 450 guests, including former heads of state Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy. According to tradition, 21 cannon shots were fired near the House of Invalids.


Macron vowed to build a “stronger France” during his second term and “a more habitable planet,” reports RFI. He tweeted video clips of his speech and wrote that “France is doing its best in difficult times.”

The presidential elections in France this year were held in two rounds. 12 candidates participated in them. In the second round, as during the 2017 elections, Emmanuel Macron and the leader of the “National Rally” Marine Le Pen. As a result, Macron won 58.54% of the vote and became the first French president since 2002 to win for the second time (the last time it was Jacques Chirac).

After his re-election, Macron promised the French to be a “president for all” ; and work towards a “more just society and equality between women and men”.

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France did not invite Russia to mark the end of World War II

France became the second country that did not invite the Russian delegation to events marking the end of World War II. At the same time, the Immortal Regiment action is allowed in Paris and other cities of the country

The French authorities did not invite Russian representatives to the May 8th celebration of the end of World War II. This was stated by the Ambassador in Paris, Alexei Meshkov, after laying wreaths at the monument to Russian members of the Resistance movement at the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris, RIA Novosti reports.

“Always send military attaches” first the Soviet Union, then Russia, Belarus as countries that made a decisive contribution to the victory over fascism were invited. This year we did not find a place on the podium. Although the ambassadors of those countries that fought on the side of Nazi Germany will sit there, — said the diplomat.

He urged to remember those who really won the war. At the same time, the ambassador noted that the main “roll of Russophobia” begins to deflate.

The day before, Meshkov, together with the heads of the diplomatic departments of the CIS countries in France, attended a flower-laying ceremony at the Flowers of Freedom memorial; at the Soviet military cemetery in Noyers-Saint-Martin. The Russian Embassy reported this on Telegram. The event was also attended by the mayor of the French city. Then Meshkov announced the holding of the action “Immortal Regiment” in Paris and other French cities.

On May 3, the Russian Embassy in Austria received a notification from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country that Russian representatives were not invited to events on May 8 in memory of the liberation of Austria from Nazi occupation and the end of World War II in Europe. At the same time, the Austrian Foreign Ministry promised to honor the memory of thousands of fallen Soviet soldiers.

Ambassador Dmitry Lyubinsky stressed that the Austrian authorities do not understand the significance of the terrible lessons of history and their consequences, which is becoming a problem for bilateral relations.

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At the end of March, the administration of the Buchenwald memorial complexes and “Dora-Mittelbau” did not allow Russian and Belarusian officials to attend a memorial ceremony in honor of the 77th anniversary of the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp. The management of the complexes called their presence unacceptable against the background of the Russian military operation in Ukraine. At the same time, the administration assured the diplomats that the ceremony would honor the memory of Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians who died in concentration camps, and lay wreaths in the colors of the national flags of Russia and Belarus at the memorial sign.

Russia also did not invite foreign leaders to the celebration Victory Day in Moscow. Presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov explained this by saying that the date is not an anniversary.

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Nice-Matin announced the arrest of the Friedman family villa in France

According to Nice-Matin, the property is owned by a company 99% owned by the entrepreneur's daughters. The arrest is related to the sanctions imposed by the European Union against Fridman, according to the publication

Mikhail Fridman

French authorities have arrested the Copab villa, writes Nice-Matin. The publication calls it owned by the family of the founder of Alfa Group. Mikhail Fridman. The area of ​​the villa— 580 sq. m, it is for rent.

The newspaper explains that the property was purchased by Akinita in the late 1990s, later renamed SNC COPAB. According to Nice-Matin, until 2015 this company was owned by the businessman's ex-wife Olga Aiziman, and then 99% of its shares were transferred to Fridman's daughters Laura and Katya.

The European Union imposed sanctions against many Russian businessmen from the end of February, including Friedman. In addition, the founder of Alfa Group was included in the sanctions list of London.

RBC sent a request to Alfa-Bank.

Based in the UK, Friedman compared life under sanctions to life under house arrest. He accused the authors of the sanctions of misunderstanding Russia: according to the entrepreneur, it is impossible to stop the special operation by pressure on business, businessmen cannot influence the president.

After the restrictions, Fridman left the boards of directors of Alfa-Bank, LetterOne, Veon, X5 Retail Group.

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After the imposition of sanctions, the authorities of European countries began to freeze the property of Russian billionaires. France, in particular, seized the property of one of the founders of Alfa Group; Alexei Kuzmichev, Roman Abramovich, Arkady Rotenberg and other businessmen. In France and other countries, several yachts were confiscated, which the authorities of these states associated with Russian entrepreneurs.

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Malian authorities announce the termination of the defense agreement with France

The Malian authorities announced “flagrant violations” of the republic's sovereignty by the French military. Bamako terminated the defense agreement with Paris, which had been in force since 2014 =”The authorities of Mali have announced the termination of the defense agreement with France” />

Mali is terminating the defense agreement with France, announced in a televised speech the official representative of the government, Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga, who in 2017 was the country's prime minister.

According to him, the Malian authorities “regret the serious deterioration” relations with France and observe “egregious violations” the sovereignty of the republic on the part of the French military, reports France24. In particular, Maiga said, France violated the airspace of Mali several times.

The colonel recalled that in June last year, France, which had been conducting an operation against militants in an African country since 2013, decided to reduce its military contingent there, and in February— withdraw troops from Mali.

Bamako notified Paris of the termination of the agreement, which was concluded in 2014, on the afternoon of Monday, May 2. France has not yet responded to this decision.

The Elysee Palace announced the withdrawal of the French military from Mali on February 17. Members of the French anti-terrorist operation Barhan will leave the country by the end of June. and the Takuba mission, which involves several other European countries. The decision was made “due to numerous obstacles from the Mali transitional authorities.”

Relations between Paris and Bamako deteriorated against the backdrop of Mali's cooperation with the Russian side. In September 2021, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced that the Malian authorities had turned to one of the Russian private military companies (PMCs) for help in the fight against terrorism. Lavrov stressed that the Russian government had nothing to do with the situation. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov also reported that there were no representatives of the Russian armed forces in Mali.

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In Russia, mercenarism is prohibited by law. According to Art. 359 of the Criminal Code, participation in armed conflicts on the territory of another country faces up to seven years in prison, and for recruiting, training, financing a mercenary, “as well as his use in an armed conflict or hostilities” & mdash; up to 15 years old. Mercenaries include persons acting in order to obtain material rewards and who are not citizens of a state participating in an armed conflict or hostilities, who do not permanently reside on its territory, and who are not persons sent to perform official duties.

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Nice-Matin announced the arrest of the villas of Russian businessmen in France

France, under EU sanctions, arrested three villas associated with Russian businessmen. Since the end of February, the country's authorities have blocked €178 million in banks, arrested four yachts and six helicopters

Oleg Deripaska

As part of the implementation of the sanctions imposed against Russia, the French authorities arrested three mansions in the south of the country, allegedly belonging to Russian businessmen, the Nice-Matin newspaper reported.

According to the publication, the list of real estate confiscated by the Ministry of Finance included a villa near the Saint-Tropez resort on the Cote d'Azur. According to Nice-Matin, Oleg Deripaska bought it in 2005.

Another confiscated villa in the vicinity of Biarritz, according to the publication, belongs to the shareholder of “Sibur” Kirill Shamalov. The sanctions list also included a villa near the commune of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat on the Riviera, which looks like a smaller copy of the Palace of Versailles. According to Nice-Matin, it is owned by the chairman of the board of directors of Russian Platinum; Musa Bazhaev.

RBC sent a request to a representative of Deripaska and Shamalov. A representative of Musa Bazhaev declined to comment.

In total, since the end of February, France has blocked €178 million in bank accounts associated with Russians, arrested four yachts, six helicopters worth more than €60 million, three works of art for €7 million, Le Figaro reported with reference to the French Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Since the end of February, the European Union has repeatedly tightened sanctions against Russia. Large Russian businessmen, including Deripaska, Shamalov and Bazhaev, fell under the restrictions. The sanctions include asset freezes and travel bans.

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Deputy head of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev compared the sanctions against entrepreneurs to the Inquisition and warned that Western authorities would face a large number of lawsuits because of their striving to abolish the right of ownership for Russian business.

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Macron’s victory overshadowed by “yellow vests”: France is torn apart by contradictions

Unpopular reforms complicate the new term of the head of state

Emmanuel Macron's victory in the French presidential election has become as expected as the protests over the outcome of the second round of voting. But the scale of the anti-presidential demonstrations, judging by the reaction of both the police and ordinary citizens, turned out to be much larger than predicted. The end of the presidential campaign may mark a new rise of the “yellow vests”, which have long been preparing to return to the socio-political field.

And France's economic problems, coupled with Macron's inflexibility on a number of fundamental issues, only exacerbate the situation.

“Down with Macron, the Robin of the Rich” is one of the slogans of the protesters, based on the nickname of the president in the leftist press; Robin des Bourges is consonant with Robin des Bois (Robin Hood in French). Photo: AP

Protest: From the web to the streets

After receiving more than 58% of the vote in the second round, the incumbent French leader went on a new term – this situation has developed for the first time since 2002, when Jacques Chirac was re-elected president.

However, as in Chirac's case, re-election is not at all an indicator of the population's stable sympathy for the head of state.

Macron's rival Marine Le Pen managed to significantly narrow the gap compared to the 2017 campaign (then the difference was 32.2%, now only 17.08%), and almost a third of the French simply ignored the second round (the turnout barely exceeded 71%), not finding among the two candidates who would meet their aspirations.

The situation is eloquently characterized by the results of an online survey conducted almost immediately after the closing of polling stations in France. According to a survey of more than 1,300 people (considered a fairly representative sample in sociology), at least 63% of the country's citizens would not like to see the Republic on the March, the Macron party, whose majority previously provided him with almost unhindered decision-making, the leading force in parliament. Thus, the parliamentary elections scheduled for June will definitely not be easy for the president and his supporters.

But even more clearly than the statistics, the riots that broke out on April 24 and continued here and there all night testify to Macron's dissatisfaction. The French police, preparing for the protests, according to law enforcement officials, did not expect such a “scale”.

Protesters with banners took to the streets not only in Paris, but also in Lyon, Montpellier, Nantes, Toulouse and a dozen smaller towns. Naturally, the largest protests took place in the capital, where the number of demonstrators, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, is in the thousands.

The leitmotif of all the actions is the slogan “Neither Macron nor Le Pen” written on many posters, shouting which the participants in the demonstrations quickly transferred the conditionally peaceful marches to the “hot stage”. The most zealous protesters set fire to trash cans and provoked police clashes by throwing stones and shouting insults. Initially, the number of law enforcement officers was increased in order to passively contain the actions, that is, simply to prevent the “spraying” of processions throughout the city. However, in the end, the police moved from a kind of protection of demonstrations to actually suppressing them: batons and tear gas were used; several dozen people were detained, although, according to official figures, most of them are already at large.

Rising gasoline fuels dissatisfied people

So far, the confrontation at the end of 2018, when actions of the so-called “yellow vests” (distinctive clothing) swept through France, did not come to pass. Then, in addition to gas and batons, the police used water cannons, and detentions numbered in the hundreds. Over time, those protests subsided, although their subsequent “relapses” were observed at the slightest convenient occasion, be it anti-COVID restrictions or another unpopular initiative by the authorities.

Now, few doubt that a full-fledged “return of vests” is just around the corner. If earlier their actions were provoked for the most part by the price policy for fuel, now this problem has changed from a narrow-profile one (affecting truckers and taxi drivers) to a general one, and, as a result, there have been more complaints.

Gasoline and diesel in France are rapidly, albeit not at the American or British pace, becoming more expensive, and even despite the popularity of electric cars in the country (and it is among the top five European leaders in terms of the number of electric cars or hybrids), this significantly hits the wallets of ordinary citizens.

In the end, the delivery of products from suppliers to the store still remains tied to the usual auto message, and the fuel surcharge increases the final cost of goods on the shelf. All this is exacerbated by Macron's adamant position on imposing an embargo on energy supplies from Russia (Paris is less accommodating in this matter than, for example, Berlin) – such a ban will further accelerate fuel prices.

As a resident told MK Paris Annette Moreau, for a liter of gasoline in the French capital now you sometimes have to pay up to 3 euros (more than 300 rubles), which is almost twice as much as even relatively recent, January prices.

“Now it is difficult to determine who are “vests” and who are not,” our interlocutor commented on the protests that took place on the night of the 25th and their prospects. – Everyone is dissatisfied with the fact that there was no choice, we saw the same candidates as five years ago, knowing what they are capable of. As long as prices for fuel, taxis, food rise, the protests will not stop. There are many groups on social networks dedicated to the smallest Parisian districts, it describes when and where to gather, this will all continue in May, and I think the police will not be able to interfere, but only anger. Moreover, people from other cities often come to Paris in their own transport, and now these (convoys) are being prepared.”

Vests on the march

Indeed, the threat to the French capital is not so much the protest potential of Paris as the mobility of demonstrators from other cities. Even in support of overseas protests—Canadian “freedom convoys”—French truckers and farm equipment farmers flocked to Paris by the dozens. Now we are talking about the fate of our own country, and the protesters are already often called “Vests on the March” on the Web, ironically over the name of the Macron party and hinting that the “vest” is the Republic.

Economic difficulties go hand in hand with a number of dubious social initiatives of Macron, in particular, about raising the retirement age to 65 years. Despite the fact that concessions on this issue (and all presidential candidates tried to play on it) could reduce tensions, the president remains surprisingly adamant, arguing his position with economic expediency.

The only thing that calms the opponents of pension reform is that this process should be fully completed by 2031. That is, the final stage will obviously not be for the Macron term – the President of France cannot be re-elected twice in a row.

Of course, Macron is trying to the best of his ability and “cajole” the electorate. So, speaking about problems with fuel, he promised to subsidize the prices of gasoline and diesel – a certain percentage of the cost at gas stations will be paid by the state. The Spanish authorities have already begun to use a similar experience against the backdrop of protests there, but the subsidy program is still in force only until June: after that, there will simply be no money left in the budget for compensation. The French leader also promised that he would not promote unpopular reforms exclusively by presidential decrees, but would do his best to seek the consent of the parliament – that is, there is no question of a fundamental easing of policy.

In this context, the struggle of the “vests” is already beyond purely economic framework, acquiring a specific political connotation. According to its representatives, the movement benefited from what was previously considered a disadvantage – its decentralization, and therefore the ability to absorb any protest forces.

“Vests” are already used as a household name for all protesters against Macron,” said Annette Moreau. She is echoed by a participant in the demonstrations in Toulouse, René Crepe. “We take to the streets for a decent life, not for fuel,” he told one of the French TV channels.


Exit polls gave victory to Macron: the hidden results of the presidential elections in France

The fight for the electorate will continue in May

The second round of the next presidential election is coming to an end in France. While the official results of the voting have not been summed up, exit polls (polls of voters at the exits from polling stations) predictably indicate a likely victory for Emmanuel Macron. According to an expert interviewed by MK, if the current head of state retains his post, he will have to continue a difficult struggle for voters – already in the parliamentary field. Its outcome will determine the details of the future Macron's course, which, however, is unlikely to undergo fundamental changes both within France and on the world stage.

In itself, the second round of presidential elections was not a surprise – in the history of the Fifth Republic there were no campaigns limited to one stage of voting. It is curious that this is only the second case when the former opponents again met in the final battle.

As in 2017, this year Macron was competed with the leader of the National Association (until 2018 known as the name “National Front”) Marine Le Pen. Despite optimistic preliminary opinion polls for her and a backlog of only 4.7% in the first round (it took place on April 10), analysts agreed that she would suffer the same fate.

The second round for the Le Pen family in general is of particular importance. The founder of the National Front, Jean-Marie Le Pen, successfully overcame the first stage of voting twenty years ago, speaking out against Jacques Chirac, around whom there were many corruption scandals. However, the protest vote in the second round, which was held according to the principle “better for a thief than for a nationalist” (even those candidates who had dropped out of the race who did not sympathize with him called to support Chirac), led to the fact that in 2002 the leader of the “NF” all same lost. It is not surprising that his daughters predicted a similar fate five years ago, and she really then repeated her father's experience. Judging by the April 24 exit polls, the situation is the same now.

If the final ballot counts (and the official election results will be released on April 25) give Macron the lead, this will also be a unique case: in 20 years after the mentioned campaign 2002, no French president has yet been re-elected.

In the event of a Macron victory, the head of state will obviously stick to his former course, Yury Rubinsky, head of the Center for French Studies at the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said in a conversation with MK.

“In general, of course, Macron will continue to pursue the foreign and domestic policy that we observed in his first presidential term. At the same time, some new factors will come into play. First, what matters is what the final gap between Macron and Le Pen will be. In the last elections, it was almost two-time, now, obviously, the difference will be less. This is not surprising: Macron was in power and bore all the costs associated with this, while Le Pen criticized his decisions.

Secondly, in addition to the gap in percentages, an equally significant role is played by what is called the informal “third round” – the parliamentary elections in France scheduled for June 12 and 19 (the first and second rounds, respectively). “Although for the Fifth Republic the president is a central figure in political life, he is still forced to rely on the main forces in the parliament, which essentially has to form a government, when making decisions,” Yury Rubinsky emphasized in this regard. “For the past five years, Macron has had independent and absolute parliamentary majority of his party “Republic on the March” (another option – “Forward, Republic!”. – “MK”), not all of his predecessors can boast of this. Accordingly, the government actually had the composition that the president appointed. Now those prospects are in question. Most likely, those who were defeated in the first round of the presidential elections will actively participate in the parliamentary campaign.”

We are talking, in particular, about Invictus France, an ultra-left and populist party led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon .

“He lagged behind Marine Le Pen in the first round by only a couple of percent, having collected a solid package of votes,” the expert recalled. “Because a significant part of the protest electorate followed him, dissatisfied with both the incumbent president and the entire existing system, but who did not want to follow the far-right National Association.” Mélenchon bluntly stated that it was about deciding the fate of the country, and he himself claims to be prime minister. These ambitions are justified. It is his voters who will largely decide what kind of political landscape will emerge as a result of the parliamentary elections. And the “corridor” for making decisions by the president depends on this.

Macron himself is known for acting on the “at the same time” principle, that is, trying to combine difficult-to-combine solutions, and this problem will confront him in the coming month, Yury Rubinsky is sure:

“Having won in the second round, the president will try immediately after it – precisely in preparation for the parliamentary elections – to avoid steps that could split the voters. At the same time, he will obviously actively “look after” the left wing. According to Macron, he himself is both left and right, but we have seen that his policies so far have been more in the interests of the right-wing elite electorate. Now it is necessary to win the sympathy of the protest voters of Mélenchon on the left, to reduce the irritating factors. In particular, we are talking about Macron's planned increase in the retirement age to 65 years (now 62). Le Pen promised to lower the retirement threshold to 60 years – of course, this is an obvious populist gesture. Melenchon suggested looking for a middle option, which, apparently, Macron now has to find.

As far as foreign policy is concerned, time also plays a role in this case. France until June of this year is the country-chairman of the Council of the EU (the legislative body of the European Union, not to be confused with the European Council, which is the highest political body of the association. – “MK”). This status of a state does not give it the right to make its own unilateral decisions, but allows it to adjust the pan-European agenda.

“Macron’s goal in the EU is to broadly deepen interaction within the association and secure sovereign status for the European Union. In this direction, of course, he will be active, especially considering that he already has to deal with the new German government. It is a coalition, there is no unity there, including on such sensitive issues for Russia as the crisis in Ukraine. The tandem with Germany was repeatedly criticized by Le Pen, whose like-minded person in the alliance can be called the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Macron, on the other hand, will continue to bet on the consolidation and strengthening of the role of the EU in the world,” the expert concluded.


France will give Ukraine self-propelled artillery mounts “Caesar”: stuck on the roads

French artillery needs greenhouse conditions

French President Emmanuel Macron announced on April 22 that 155-mm Caesars would be sent to Ukraine as military aid. Alexey Leonkov, a military expert and editor of Arsenal of the Fatherland magazine, spoke about the advantages and disadvantages of the French howitzer.

Photo: en.wikipedia .orgSelvejp

According to him, “Caesar” has a long range – up to 42 kilometers. In addition, this self-propelled gun does not require constant repair, which is very convenient when there is a shortage of foreign spare parts.

“The main disadvantages of the Caesar are poor off-road patency, lack of protection against enemy shells and a small ammunition load – only 18 shells” , – said Leonkov.

The expert noted that in Ukraine there is an analogue of this self-propelled gun called “Bogdan”, but in single quantities.

The first sample of the “Caesar” was presented in 1994 , and since 2000, its testing began. The French howitzer is flown by a crew of five, but in a pinch it can be flown by a trained crew of three trained troops. The barrel length of the Caesar is 52 calibers.

It also became known that the United States decided to transfer to Ukraine about 70 heavy 155-mm British howitzers M777 and 140,000 shells for them. NATO countries hope that a permanent military supply to Ukraine will increase the duration of the special military operation and weaken Russia. However, recent tests of the Russian Sarmat missile showed that the Russian army has enough forces to continue the special operation.


Macron says France does not need gas from Russia

According to Macron, his country does not need Russian gas, but the EU is dependent on it. Previously, the president said he could appoint an energy planning minister responsible for France's gas and oil withdrawal

Emmanuel Macron

Europe depends on gas from Russia, but France does not need it, said on the France TV channel 5 French President Emmanuel Macron.

“We are working hard to buy it elsewhere. <…> France doesn't need him, — said Macron (quote from Le Parisien).

According to Macron, it is necessary to “do everything” to force Russia to stop the military operation in Ukraine, including imposing an embargo on Russian oil.

Over the weekend, the French president announced that he was considering appointing an energy planning minister who would be responsible for reducing the country's dependence on gas, oil and coal.

The European Union has introduced five packages of sanctions against Russia in connection with the military operation in Ukraine. The latter was approved in early April and, among other things, prohibits the purchase, import or transit of coal and other solid fossil fuels from Russia. It will begin to operate in August, until that time the parties can execute contracts concluded before April 9. The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced the work on the sixth package, in which Brussels considers issues related to the energy sector. The inevitability of these measures was said by the head of the European Council, Charles Michel, according to whom, restrictions on oil and gas from Russia “sooner or later will be required.”

On March 31, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on payments in rubles for natural gas supplies to countries that the authorities consider “unfriendly” (The list includes all EU countries). According to the document, companies from Western countries must open accounts in Russian banks. The new sales rules came into effect on April 1. The G7 countries and the European Union announced that they would not pay for gas in rubles. At the same time, the French Minister of Ecological Transition, Barbara Pompili, said on April 1 that the possibility of paying for gas in euros remained. Countries that buy gas from Russia make payments in euros through a bank, which will then convert the currency into rubles.

In early April, Lithuania announced that it was the first in the European Union to completely abandon Russian gas. According to the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borel, all European countries can achieve this within two years. President Vladimir Putin said that Russia will be able to increase the consumption of oil, gas and coal within the country, increase their processing, and also find alternative foreign markets.

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The NYT learned that the EU linked the ban on oil from Russia to the elections in France

EU member states are discussing a phased embargo on Russian oil, but concrete proposals will be made only after the presidential elections in France are over

The EU plans to introduce a phased embargo on Russian oil, but negotiations this will not begin until the end of the presidential election in France, writes The New York Times, citing sources. The second round of the French elections will take place on April 24.

According to the interlocutors of the publication, the leaders of the countries —members of the EU want to be sure that the increase in fuel prices in France (in the event of an earlier embargo) will not play into the hands of the candidate Marine Le Pen to the presidency and will not prevent current President Emmanuel Macron from being re-elected. Both candidates made it to the second round of elections.

The embargo is supposed to be introduced according to the same scheme as for Russian coal. Earlier, the EU introduced the fifth package of sanctions against Russia, which included, among other things, a ban on the purchase, import or transit of coal and other solid fossil fuels from Russia. It will take effect in August, until that time the parties can execute contracts concluded before April 9.

Oil is also being phased out, allowing Germany, which is more dependent on Russian fuel than any other European country, to adapt to the new conditions. The schedule for phasing out Russian oil will be divided into types of oil products and delivery methods, writes NYT. In addition, a faster embargo on oil delivered by tankers (compared to pipeline oil) is being discussed.

Now it is being discussed that the transit period will be at least one month, the newspaper adds.

According to her, EU members are gradually coming to the conclusion that a ban on the import of Russian oil should be introduced even in the absence of any “trigger”.

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The European Commission is now working on the details of upcoming measures, but does not put them on paper, fearing information leakage, the newspaper writes. Its representatives will hold meetings with European diplomats during the Easter holidays, his sources specified.

Earlier Thursday, President Vladimir Putin instructed to speed up work on creating infrastructure in Russia to redirect oil and gas exports from the West to other markets. He clarified that we are talking about railway, pipeline, port projects. “Including, it is necessary to provide for the construction of new oil and gas pipelines from the fields of Western and Eastern Siberia,” — the president added.

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France predicts the results of the second round of the presidential election

Poll shows Macron likely to win

Incumbent French President Emmanuel Macron could win the second round of the presidential election with 53.5 percent of the vote. The victory of the head of the Fifth Republic is predicted according to the results of a sociological survey by Elabe.

Photo: Global Look Press Marine Le Pen's right-wing National Rally party, according to the poll, could get 46.5 percent.

63 percent of those polled said they would definitely go to the polls on Sunday, April 24th. 10 percent of respondents noted that they were “serious about going to vote”, 27 percent of survey participants admitted that they could miss the vote.

According to the results of the first round of the presidential elections, which took place on April 10, Macron scored 27 .84 percent of the vote, Le Pen – 23.15 percent.

Third place went to the candidate of the left Jean-Luc Mélenchon – he enlisted the support of 21.95 percent of voters.

Le Pen time has stated that if she is elected president, she will withdraw France from the unified command of the NATO alliance.


Le Pen closed the gap on Macron in the second round: France froze

Race against time: will the Fifth Republic get a new president

Ahead of the second round of the French presidential election, far-right candidate Marine Le Pen is closing the gap with Emmanuel Macron, according to the latest poll. Meanwhile, former President Nicolas Sarkozy spoke out in support of the current head of the Republic, praising him for his “commitment to Europe.”

Photo: AP

A new opinion poll has shown far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen is closing the gap with Emmanuel Macron ahead of the second round of the presidential election.

According to the Daily Mail, the OpinionWay-Kea Partners poll published by Les Echos and Radio Classique on Tuesday showed Le Pen narrowed the gap by one point as voter turnout continued to fall, although if the poll is to be believed, Macron still wins the runoff with 54 percent of the vote.

Voter turnout estimates fell even further – by 1 percent to 70 percent – from 74.56 percent in 2017, already the lowest since 1969.

On Tuesday, former Conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy said he would vote for centrist Emmanuel Macron in the second round of the presidential election against Marine Le Pen on April 24.

Sarkozy praised Macron's “commitment” to Europe as “clear and unequivocal”.

“I will vote for Emmanuel Macron because I think he has the necessary experience in the face of a serious international crisis. His economic project puts the value of work as a top priority, and his commitment to Europe is clear and unequivocal,” Sarkozy said ahead of the second round of voting.

our governance culture should lead us to respond to Emmanuel Macron's call for unity,” he said.

Marine Le Pen, 53, won a second round against the incumbent in the French election after receiving 23.15% of the vote in the first round on Sunday, just four points behind Macron.


The two finalists will now go head-to-head on April 24, with polls predicting a much tougher showdown than their 2017 battle, with National Rally leader Le Pen predicted to win 49 percent of the vote in the runoff in margin of error for victory.

Sarkozy's comments come just days after the candidate of his own conservative party, which he publicly refused to support, lost in the first round of the election. Valerie Pekress won just 4.8% of the vote on Sunday. This puts the Republicans in dire financial straits, as the party failed to reach the five percent threshold above which campaign expenses are reimbursed by the state. On Monday, Pecresse called for urgent donations to ensure her party's survival.

While many of the first-round losing candidates urged their supporters not to support Le Pen in the second round, including far-left leader Jean -Luc Mélenchon, her populist message centered on the cost of living crisis resonates across the political spectrum, writes the Daily Mail.

Sophie Pedder, The Economist's Paris bureau chief, told BBC Today: “She's very popular with voters, workers, underpaid employees, service workers, people who struggle with paying their bills at the end of the month, who have real difficulties with the price of gasoline for their cars. Many of them live in rural areas or areas where they need cars to get to work. This emphasis she places on the cost of living fits in very well with Mélenchon's supporters on the radical left.”

Throughout the campaign, Le Pen visited markets in towns and villages to meet with working-class voters, where anti-yellow vest protests flared up, promoting the idea that Macron had divided France and she was the one to unite it.

Le Pen claims that he is no longer the “big, bad wolf” of politics and positions himself as a unifying and kind figure.

An Ifop poll in March found that less than half of French people thought she was “intimidating.” Meanwhile, analysis of the polls by The Telegraph showed that 53% of voters intend to vote for Macron, and 47% for Le Pen.

In her Sunday speech, Le Pen portrayed herself as a unifying figure who will heal the “rifts » France and stop the 'chaos' caused by Macron, a former banker who, she said, personified the 'power of money'.

One Le Pen supporter says: “She did a great campaign, she was good all the time, she was close to the people. She was not shown on TV too much, she was more with us on the field, in the cities. She did everything right. The difference is that in 2017 people voted for Macron because he was new and we didn't know him, so we thought, “Well, let's try.” We tried it, and it turned out terrible.”

Last week, sociologist Brice Teinturier of Ipsos found that more people expect their position and position in the country to improve if Marine Le Pen is elected instead of Macron.

Macron kicks off his campaign for a runoff by visiting former mining areas in the industrial centers of Les Pens in northern France, in a first sign that workers will be the main battlefield in the election.

As the 12 candidates in the first round dwindle to two, now presidential finalists should aim to appeal to about 50 percent of voters who had other preferences in the first round.

In past elections at the national, regional and municipal levels, voters of the left and right have historically banded together to keep the far right out of power, a phenomenon known as the “republican front”.

Although all major candidates, including the conservative Republicans and the Socialist Party supported Macron in the second round on Sunday evening, it is unclear whether their voters will follow him. What's more, their low single digit scores were so pathetic that their support doesn't matter much. Analysts say the left's vote is likely to be split, with Macron going to have a third, Le Pen to a third and abstention to a third.

The face-to-face meeting in the second round between Le Pen and Macron is a repeat of the 2017 presidential election, when the results of the first round were 24.01% for Macron and 21.03% for Le Pen. Macron then beat Le Pen with 66% of the vote in the second round.

But experts say this election will be very different: voters are disillusioned after five years of the centrist president's globalist and pro-European policies, and Le Pen seeks to unite voters with his anti-Macronian message.

Bruno Gollnisch, a former National Front MP, said: “I think the circumstances are very different from five years ago because many people are disappointed with Mr Macron's policies. Whether on the right or on the left, the real discussion will now be between globalism on the one hand and the difference of national identity on the other.”

Marin became leader of the Front National in 2011 after her father Jean-Marie Le Pen, and since then she has been trying to improve the image of the party, which its critics accuse of racism and Holocaust denial. The National Front has since been renamed the National Rally, and in 2015 Marin expelled her father from the party he co-founded in the 1970s for repeating his view that the Holocaust was a mere a “detail” of World War II.

But in a rare show of support, Jean-Marie Le Pen congratulated his daughter Sunday night on a “remarkable campaign” and predicted her election victory.

On In this election, Marine Le Pen's campaign was quiet, professional, without major gaffes, and she looked more suited to the presidency than her far-right rival, the controversial commentator Eric Zemmour, who received seven percent of the vote.

French newspaper Le Monde described the second round of elections on April 24 as a struggle between “France of leaders and pensioners against France of employees and workers, cities against the periphery, European integration against national sovereignty.”


Macron said that Putin respects and singles out France among Western countries

Macron: Putin singles out France among other Western countries, relations need to be rethought European countries should rethink relations with Russia and Turkey in order to “bring” them closer to themselves, Macron believes. According to him, Putin distinguishes France from other Western countries, but dialogue with him is always frank

Dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin is always demanding and frank, he revived the dream of empire, said French President Emmanuel Macron in an interview with Le Point.

“I think that Putin respects France and distinguishes it from other Western countries,” — Macron emphasized (quote from TASS).

The President of France called one of the European “treasures” renunciation of hegemony. In his opinion, the Russian president violated the principle of territorial integrity, which has been a dogma since 1945— end of World War II. This principle, Macron emphasized, was enshrined in the Charter of Paris in 1990, the only exception to this “dogma” were the events in Yugoslavia.

“What is happening in Ukraine” this is a huge factor for the destabilization of the Western Balkans,— considers the French president.

According to Macron, the Russian president decided to launch a military special operation in Ukraine because of a feeling of anti-Western ressentiment and a lack of contact with other people due to the coronavirus pandemic, reports Bloomberg. Russian forces will continue to operate in Ukraine to achieve results by the May 9 Victory Day, the French President believes. He promised that he would continue contacts with Putin.

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The world, according to the President of France, is in a period of global transformation, having become multipolar instead of bipolar. He pointed out that Beijing demonstrates a lack of readiness to put pressure on Moscow, a large number of African states have adopted a policy of “non-alignment”, and a neutral position dominates among the Persian Gulf countries due to skepticism towards Washington, but Europe has shown unity on the issue of what is happening in Ukraine .

Macron expressed confidence that European countries should rethink their relations with both Moscow and Ankara, believing that otherwise Europe “will not be able to live in peace.” Changing attitudes, he noted, would also “bring closer” Russia and Turkey to Europe.

«The West has sometimes been involved in conflicts that <…> consisted in imposing values ​​on peoples against their will, in replacing leaders who did not accept these values, — said the French president.

The material is being supplemented.

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Results of the first round of presidential elections in France. infographics

Following the processing of 100% of the votes, Emmanuel Macron scored 27.84%, and his main rival Marine Le Pen – 23.15%. Both will participate in the second round of elections, which will be held on April 24

The turnout in the first round of the presidential elections in France was 73.69%— this is the lowest figure since 2002 (then 72% of voters came to the vote). In 2017, when current head of state Emmanuel Macron was elected for his first term, the turnout was 76.8%.

Almost all candidates said that in the second tour support Macron. The exception was Eric Zemmour, who called for voting for Le Pen.

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France declares six more Russian diplomats persona non grata

Paris declared six Russian diplomats persona non grata, the secret services found out that they acted against the national interests of France. This is stated on the website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“After a very lengthy investigation, the General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI) revealed on Sunday, April 10, a covert operation carried out by Russian special services on our territory,”— the ministry said in a statement.

“But they don’t announce everyone at once in the hope that we will change our position? We won't change, — said the representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova. She also appealed to the French department, stating that if Paris linked the implementation of the Minsk agreements by Ukraine, this would lead to peace and stability in Europe.

The material is being supplemented.


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The turnout in the presidential elections in France was 65%

The turnout in the presidential elections in France by 17:00 local time (18:00 Moscow time) was 65%, which is 4.42% less than in 2017. This is reported by the newspaper Le Monde.

Voting in France began on 10 April. If none of the country's 12 presidential candidates receives enough popular support to win the first round of voting, the name of who will take the Elysee Palace will be known after the second round, scheduled for April 24.

The main candidates are the incumbent President Emmanuel Macron and the head of the “National Rally”; Marine Le Pen. According to The Economist, Macron will win re-election with 53% of the vote against Le Pen's 47%. The publication estimates the probability of a second term for Macron at 78%.

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Protests begin in France

There are reports in the media of several protests in France against the backdrop of the presidential campaign, some protesting against the incumbent President Emmanuel Macron, others against the candidate for the presidency – Marine Le Pen.

Recall that after processing 75% of the votes: Macron is gaining 27.2%, and Le Pen – 26.28%. Both candidates made it to the second round.

Thus, a demonstration broke out in Lyon against the results of the first round. Clashes broke out with the police. Protesters use fireworks against the police, gendarmes respond with tear gas.