Russia's puppet government in the occupied Crimea greets some of Putin's "useful idiots" - the ten French MPs who broke Ukrainian laws by traveling to Crimea without Ukrainian visas directly from Russia, thus de facto recognizing it as a Russian territory, advancing Putin's geopolitical goals and damaging the European democracy. (Image: crimea.gov.ru)
Article by: Yuriy Safronov
Who came and for what reason?
The trip of the French Parliament members was organized by the Franco-Russian Dialogue Association. This organization has been in existence since 2004 and holds Franco-Russian political, economic, and cultural events in the two countries.
The most interesting figure in the delegation is the MP Thierry Mariani, who heads the above-named association together with Vladimir Yakunin, the head of Russian Railways.
Mariani is one of the heavyweights from the Republican party led by former French Prime Minister Nicolas Sarkozy. In the National Assembly he heads the most right-leaning wing of this right party – La Droite Populaire (“The People’s Right”).
He is also the former transport minister of France (2010-2012).
He is married to a “Russian woman“ (in another version – a citizen of Kazakhstan), who in 2007, when Sarkozy first ran for elections, created the Russian version of his website. Mariani is referred to as a lobbyist for French companies on former USSR territory. A source at the independent Russian newspaper “Novaya Gazeta” also called him an informal “minister of Russian affairs” inside Sarkozy’s party.
The MP, incidentally, took part in all three delegations of French parliamentarians traveling to Russia, which have taken place since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.
The movement that he leads, La Droite Populaire, greeted the journey of four French deputies’ to Syria at the invitation of Bashar Assad in February 2015.
Interestingly, a few years ago, he was chairman of the France-Ukraine friendship group in the National Assembly, as well as the one with Kazakhstan. Repeatedly, he went to “observe” elections in Azerbaijan (where he stated that he “witnessed great development and progress”).
Thierry Mariani is familiar with the “Orthodox entrepreneur” Konstantin Malofeyev. In September 2014, Mariani participated in a forum organized by Malofeyev called “The large family and the future of humanity.”In November, the newspaper “Vedomosti” reported that the business interests of Malofeyev and Mariani overlap.
The other participants of the visit are also worth mentioning.
Yves Pozzo di Borgo, was also present at that September forum in Moscow. He calls himself a descendant of a famous ambassador, general, and adviser to Russian Tsar Aleksandr II.
The newspaper “Liberation”, which published a dossier on “Putin’s network in France” in September 2014, attributed the senator to the “naive Battalion” (it also contains actor Gerard Depardieu).
In June, after the spy scandal, during which it became clear that the Americans spied on French presidents and set up a spying studio in the building of the American Embassy in Paris. the senator said that if France respected itself, it would have destroyed the US embassy.
The senator has repeatedly urged the US to “stop interfering” in the internal affairs of Ukraine.
Nicolas Dhuicq is another deputy who belongs to the most right-wing branch of Sarkozy’s party. The psychiatrist is also a participant of the three trips to Russia. He declared in parliament in 2012 that terrorism and same-sex families are connected, and that the battle with smoking leads to jihadism.
He insisted that Ukraine is “deeply traumatized and divided,” and thus it is not necessary to maintain its “facade unity.”
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Jacques Myard is another deputy from the Party of Sarkozy and one of the creators of its furthest right wing. He is the mayor of the wealthy Paris suburb of Maisons-Laffitte.
He calls homosexuality a perversion, and considers that homosexuals make no contribution to society. He supports the restoration of the death penalty.
In August 2014 he stated that the Ukrainian conflict is “a purely regional issue” that “is a consequence of the collapse of the Soviet Union and all the things that happened prior to it, namely that many Ukrainians favored the Nazis during the Second World War.” Sanctions against Moscow, in his opinion, make a “regional conflict turn international.”
He called for Europe to recognize the Crimea as Russian, only warning Russia it should “better not to do this” with the rest of Ukraine.
In February 2015 he was one of four members of the scandalous trip to Bashar Assad.
Claude Goasguen is an MP and mayor of the bourgeois 16th district of Paris, where a large number of wealthy Russians live. He is a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.
He participated in all three trips to Russia, supported annexation of the Crimea, and called the events during Kyiv’s Euromaidan revolution a coup. He stated that the refusal of France to supply Mistral warships to Russia undermines its authority and that France is “tired of sanctions.”
He is a supporter of the idea of a ”French Algeria.” Prime Minister Waltz accused Goasguen of links with the far-right.
In September 2014, the Franco-Russian Dialogue association organized the event “Yes! Russian Week” with the participation of head of Russian Railways Vladimir Yakunin and MP Goasguen.
Jérôme Lambert exited from the ruling Socialist Party to join the radical left in 2014.
In 2012 he demanded the confiscation of Gerard Depardieu’s property after he decided to leave France for Belgium, where taxes are lower. An opposer of the law on marriage equality.
He is the great-nephew of Francois Mitterrand and the cousin of former Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand.
Yannick Moreau is an MP of Vendée from Sarkozy’s party.
He supports the ultraconservative movement Manif pour tous, which stands for “traditional family values” against gay marriage and so on. In Parliament he voted against the “fundamental right of women to abortion.”
Patrice Verchere is an MP from Sarkozy’s Party. A participant of all three trips to Russia.
As far as we can find, he has made no public statements about Russia, whether in Moscow or in France. The most humble and silent supporter of Russia among the others.
Marie-Christine Dalloz is an MP from Sarkozy’s Party.
French media accused Mrs. Dalloz of being part of a deputy club that was sponsored by a pharmaceutical corporation.
Sauveur Sheyit Gandolfi Scheit is a Sarkozy party MP from Corsica.
According to media reports, he belonged to the one deputy club with Dalloz, which was sponsored by a pharmaceutical corporation. In September of 2010 he was on probation for six months for hitting an insurer. The episode took place in the City Hall of Biguglia (Corsica).
Such a group will visit Crimea on July 24 for reasons that are probably clear for all of us.