chapter  7
22 Pages

Russia’s strategy of influence in Europe

A French case study
WithJulien Théron

This chapter focuses on Russia's influence in France in 2017, a year that has proved to be a historical turning point for France and for relations between the two countries. It analyses how Russian power lobbies are attempting to present an ideologically crafted counter-model to the French public. Cécile Vaissié underlines the importance of the Komintern model in the propagation of the new ideological system, France being a fertile ground for its deployment. All candidates, who belong to what are usually called partis de gouvernements, and who have almost monopolized power in French political life since the birth of the 5th Republic, claimed nonetheless to be disruptive themselves, to be anti-système candidates. Evidence of the activities in France may be observed along three main axes: political influence, media activism, and strategic pressure. The chapter also analyses how the Kremlin has deployed a series of unprecedented and unconventional strategies to exert influence in France.