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    French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron attends a meeting with the media after a session of the Russian-French Council for economic, financial, industrial and trade issues in Moscow, Russia, January 25, 2016

    Russian Senator Says French Presidential Hopeful Macron Backed by US

    © REUTERS / Maxim Shemetov
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    French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, who proudly promotes himself as an independent candidate in the race, follows the same patterns as Hillary Clinton and is apparently the protege of Washington, a Russian lawmaker said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Macron is supported by the United States, senior member of the Russian parliament's upper house Alexey Pushkov told Sputnik on Wednesday.

    "I think he [Macron] is a 'dependent candidate … to suggest that the United States does not participate in the French elections is absolutely impossible. They participate in the elections of all countries, albeit unofficially, but supporting 'their' people…. Of course, the protege of the United States is Macron, and he follows the same patterns as Hillary Clinton," Pushkov said.

    Pushkov added that Macron’s dependency on US and global liberal elites, same as one of Hillary Clinton, was "obvious" for him due to Macron’s acting according to a "liberal cliche that Russia is rooting against him."

    Earlier this month, the general secretary of Macron’s party Richard Ferrand launched an unsubstantiated attack against the RT broadcaster and Sputnik news agency over allegedly "spreading fake news."

    Earlier this week, Macron's spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said Sputnik had launched the campaign to discredit the candidate. The general secretary of Macron’s party Richard Ferrand said that Sputnik and RT outlets "spread fake news", which are later "used, quoted and influence our democratic life."

    Both Sputnik and RT rejected and condemned the "appalling" and "unfounded" accusations. On Wednesday, commenting on Ferrand's claims Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Macron's ally was spreading fake news himself by accusing Sputnik of fabrication. The Kremlin has also reacted to claims made by Ferrand, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov calling these accusations "absurd."

    The Republicans' candidate Francois Fillon used to be considered the leader in the presidential race, but lost popularity after a scandal that erupted in late January around his wife’s allegedly fake employment. Fillon has since been thought unlikely to enter the second round, however, the gap between him and Macron in the first round is rather narrow.

    The first round of the French presidential elections is scheduled for April 23, while the run-off is slated for May 7.


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