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France Warns Russia Against Election Meddling

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault

France’s foreign minister has blamed Moscow for a series of election-related cyberattacks, saying that such actions were “unacceptable.”

Speaking to Journal du Dimanche on February 19, Jean-Marc Ayrault said the attacks have targeted pro-European candidate Emmanuel Macron.

He noted that both far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and conservative Francois Fillon have adopted pro-Russian and anti-European positions that Moscow favors.

“Russia is the first to say that noninterference in domestic affairs is a cardinal rule, and I understand that,” Ayrault said. “France won’t accept its choices being dictated to it either.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will participate in a general election in September, has also warned of possible attempts by Moscow to sway the polls.

The allegations of Russian election meddling come amid controversy that Moscow interfered in the 2016 presidential election in the United States.

“After what happened in the United States, it is our responsibility to take all steps necessary to ensure that the integrity of our democratic process is fully respected,” Ayrault said.

Based on reporting by Journal du Dimanche and AFP