(RAD) Russia’s relationship with France should be seen as a two-way street since both sides have interests in the other. Russia’s operates in France through numerous cultural, political, economic, and media layers with some success. Russia’s main influence comes from the French firms working in Russia and some conservative factions among Les Républicains.
The Franco-Russian Bilateral Relationship
France occupies a special position in Russia’s perception of Europe, for several reasons. First, there have long been ties between the two countries: Paris welcomed Russian exiles in the 19th century, as well as several hundred thousand émigrés who fled the October Revolution. Second, Russia values France’s Gaullist hesitancy toward transatlantic institutions in favor of a more continental Europe. Thirdly, and most pragmatically, deep economic ties shaped bilateral relations, with the majority of big French firms having some involvement in the Russian market. These factors combine to explain not only Moscow’s persistent efforts to get Paris on its side on the international scene, but also to be recognized on the French political and cultural landscape as a great power that “matters.” Russian influences in France are multifaceted, yet they should not be analyzed as a unidirectional power that Russia holds over France, but as two-way interactions, in the sense that many actors in France are also interested in building links with Russia. In this short article, I look at the different “layers” of Russia’s networks of influence in France. […]
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