French Politician Andrea Kotarac and His Pro-Russian Endeavors

Andrea Kotarac is a French politician. Initially a member of the Left Party and La France he was elected regional councillor of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes in 2015. He left this mandate after having given his support to the list presented by the National Rally in the 2019 European elections. The RN then supported him as head of the list in the 2021 regional elections in 

Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. The political demonstrates that he has tilted towards Russia. 

In 2018, he appeared on Twitter alongside Alexander Zakharchenko, leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic, a pro-Russian separatist state in Ukraine. He acted as a guarantor, as an electoral “observer”, designated by Russia for a contested election in Donetsk, considered illegal by the international community. Andrea Kotarac has appeared on the Russian state television channel Russia Today on numerous occasions.

On April 18, 2019, he participated in the Yalta Forum, a conference of Russian soft power organized in Crimea by the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, at a moment when the country was supposed of seeking to consolidate its influence in Europe. While far-right figures, Thierry Mariani and Marion Maréchal, were attending this event and his approach was disapproved of by the LFI leadership, he acknowledged the annexation of Crimea by Russia and claimed “I do not agree with Mariani and Maréchal on many issues. But on the defence of national sovereignty and the need to ally with Russia, I agree. […] A part of the French left does not consider Russia as an enemy, quite the contrary.”

It has revealed that Members of Parliament who have been elected from the winning party, Rassemblement National, have executed services to the Russian government at a time in their political career. Andréa Kotarac was also on the list.

In December 2018, with Thierry Mariani and the marketing director of the SOS Chrétiens d’Orient association, he went to Syria, where he met the leaders of the local chamber of commerce and industry, listed as an entity sanctioned by France and the European Union, and proposed opening commercial relations with the Lyon chamber of commerce. In the summer of 2019, with MEPs Thierry Mariani, Nicolas Bay and Virginie Joron, he went to Syria again, taking part in a meeting with President Bashar al-Assad, accused of crimes against humanity during the Syrian civil war. In 2021, Andréa Kotarac, with Thierry Mariani and Hervé Juvin, pays a new visit to Bashar el-Assad, who is the subject of a judicial investigation in France concerning chemical attacks, including the one on Ghouta.

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