In France at the debates held in the night of Friday, November 25, in the struggle for the right to become the presidential candidate of the center-right party “the Republicans” on the eve of the second round of primaries, former Prime Minister Francois Fillon, known as a public expression of sympathy towards Russia, defeated his rival Alain juppé. This is evidenced by the survey conducted by Elabe for TV station BMFTV.

According to the survey, 71% of supporters of the centre-right conservative forces gave preference to Fillon. Only 28% believe that the victory was won by his rival. Among all TV viewers who watched the debate, regardless of their political views, Fillon was supported by 57% of respondents. 41% of viewers said that the best way was Juppe. The survey polled about 900 viewers who watched the debate.

As notes “Interfax”, Fillon won a kind of victory and Twitter. During the debate, he received 5819 retweets, Juppe they were much smaller – 3631.

At the debates, the candidates talked about the internal problems of France. In foreign policy matters they touched on relations with Russia and conflict in Ukraine and Syria.

Fillon has described as absurd the policy of France in relation to Russia

Francois Fillon during the televised debate said that the current policy of France towards Russia is absurd and dangerous, as it leads to a radicalization of positions of Moscow. He explained that at the present time Russia is pushing the fact that she took a more rigid position and turned to nationalism, which is dangerous given the fact that it is “about the largest country in the world where a huge number of nuclear weapons”. The former Prime Minister has offered “to sit down at the negotiating table with the Russians, without the consent of the United States to restore ties” (quoted by TASS).

The former Prime Minister also said he did not support the annexation of Crimea by Russia, but noted that the question of Kosovo’s independence was disputed. He expressed the opinion that “the policy of sanctions against Russia has failed.” How ex-the Prime Minister, to solve the Crimean problem can “negotiate within the framework of international right margin” between Moscow and Kiev. As reported “Interfax”, referring to the Minsk agreements, he recalled that their implementation is necessary to achieve not only from Russia but also from Ukraine.

Even before the broadcast Fillon in comments for the Paris newspaper Le Monde said that “it is unrealistic to keep sanctions against Moscow,” in which Paris need to fight with Islamist totalitarianism. “We need to get past the logic blocks and the cold war. Status of France on the world stage commits the country to international and independent diplomacy,” – said the former head of the government.

“The real danger for Europe is not Russia. We are talking about
economic danger, and it comes from Asia. Unwise to push
Russia’s rapprochement with Asia,” – said during the televised debate, françois Fillon.

Media alert writing about the friendship between Fillon and Putin

Meanwhile, the Western press writes about the friendship of Fillon and Russian President Vladimir Putin. In the Kremlin this week also announced about the friendship of two politicians. Francois Fillon supports a “sufficiently good relationship” with Vladimir Putin, said the press Secretary of the President Dmitry Peskov, adding that the Kremlin is closely watching the election campaign in France, and associated with these elections the opportunity to improve Russian-French relations.

Recently published article in the newspaper Le Temps has tried to answer the question of whether to worry about emphatic demonstration Fillon Pro-Russian feelings. Answer the journalist Richard wehrli received from the Swiss Alain Deletroz analyst, consultant, Geneva centre for security policy.

The expert expressed hope that the visit “will prove themselves to be the best way, separating the aspiration for a constructive dialogue with Russia and with Putin to protect the interests of the EU against the Kremlin.” “The more he demonstrates his Pro-Russian attitude, the more he will have then to prove its durability” – says the analyst.

As assured Deletroz, which quotes InoPressa, although Putin and Fillon really “know and appreciate each other,” the ex-Premier does not disappear critical thinking. “He knows that Putin is peculiar disregard for democracy. I think he is aware of how problematic the excesses of the Russian government, which blames all the troubles of NATO and seeks to manipulate public opinion,” he said.

Alain Deletroz said that Fillon will have to face the fact that Putin only respects the balance of power. He believes that the French politician should be under no illusions. “In Syria, Russia currently applies the same method she used for the military occupation of Chechnya: the massive use of brute force. Aleppo today is terrible yesterday,” he said. According to the expert, Fillon needs to convince Putin of the necessity of compliance with the fair principle of “actions for actions”, which will not lead to difficulties in the EU.

“After the election of Donald trump in the US, the geopolitical balance seems to be leaning in favor of the Kremlin,” suggests the interviewer. “Yes, you can spend a certain analogy between the approaches trump and Fillon. Still Fillon, unlike trump has the experience and breadth of a statesman,” – says the interlocutor of the edition.

Fillon stated the intention to maintain relations with the US and supported Assad

Speaking on the latest debates about other areas of foreign policy, Fillon assured that is not going to in if elected President to abandon the close Alliance with the United States.

On the Syrian issue, the politician said he did not support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but at the same time, urged to change the approach to the settlement of the conflict, reports “Interfax”. “Of our last four years of policy has failed. The civil war gained momentum. It must be admitted. To stop this war, it is necessary to return Russia to negotiations with the Europeans. You need to talk with Iran, his role is key, despite the shortcomings of this country,” said Fillon.

In the first round of primaries held on 20 November, defeated 62-year-old Fillon with a score of 44.2%, Juppe scored 28.4 per cent. Ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy dropped out of the race, gaining 20.7 percent of votes.

The second round of primaries, the results of which will determine the candidate
the presidents of France from the “Republicans” will be held on Sunday, November 27.
François Fillon can count on the support of 65% of voters in the second round of primaries. His rival, the mayor of Bordeaux Alain Juppe will be able to garner 35% of votes. Such data are cited by TASS with reference to AFP and research service IFOP. It is expected that the winner of these primaries will become the favorite in the presidential elections scheduled for spring 2017.

Poll: Francois Fillon defeated his rival Alain juppé in the televised debates of presidential candidates 25.11.2016

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