French minister warns Russia on election meddling

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. (Sven Hoppe, AFP)
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. (Sven Hoppe, AFP)

Paris - France's foreign minister is denouncing possible Russian meddling in the French presidential campaign as "unacceptable."

Jean-Marc Ayrault, in an interview published in newspaper Journal du Dimanche, said Russia appears to be targeting centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron, while favouring more pro-Russia candidates such as conservative Francois Fillon and nationalist Marine Le Pen.

Macron's campaign has described hacking attempts that it suspects are linked to Russia, though it's unclear whether the detected activity was more than routine cyber security breaches. The Kremlin has denied involvement.

Ayrault is quoted as saying "this kind of interference in French democratic life is unacceptable....The French will not accept anyone dictating their (electoral) choices."

The French government is holding an election security meeting on Friday to discuss concerns raised by alleged Russian interference in the US presidential campaign.

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