A new poll by the Russian VTSIOM found that if Russians had a vote in the French election, 61% of them would vote for Marine Le Pen while a mere 8% would vote for Emmanuel Macron.
These results are about as surprising as the fact that beef isn’t on the menu in an traditional Hindu restaurant.
While the western mainstream media are predictably taking a Russophobic slant on this event, the actual motivation for these results is pure logic.
What group of people in the world would endorse a man who is openly hostile to their country? This is especially true as that man, Macron faces an opponent who has specifically said that she wants to be friendly with Russia and that she accepts Russia for what it is and importantly where it is.
Crucially, Marine Le Pen accepts the Crimean people’s exercise in self-determination when in 2014 they voted to re-join their historic homeland, Russia. This has put her at odds with the majority of EU politicians who still can’t get over this simply reality.
How could Russians not feel some degree of support for Le Pen vis-a-vis Macron?
Moreover though, Russian support for Marine Le Pen is about more than self-interest, although of course there is nothing wrong with being interested in preserving ones life and one’s nation. Russian support for Le Pen is symptomatic of the wider reality that as a foreign policy realist who is opposed to European interventionist wars and US hegemony, Le Pen represents a breath of fresh air in the context of western policy making.
If elected, whether she follows through on her promises or not, the point is that many people in the wider world want the change that people like Le Pen could bring.
It is not about Russian voters versus French voters, it is about people who are informed about what leads to a less confrontational world versus those who are either ill-informed or ill at ease with the truth.