Macron requires the “quickest release” of the Frenchman arrested in Moscow | EUROtoday

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Emmanuel Macron referred to as on Russia to instantly launch Frenchman Laurent Vinatier, a collaborator of a Swiss NGO accused of amassing intelligence on the Russian military, who was positioned in pre-trial detention on Friday.

“We obviously asked for immediate clarifications, and we then asked that all the usual consular protections could be provided to him,” the president stated throughout a press convention along with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky. “The propaganda elements that have been given about him do not correspond to reality. And therefore we call for Russia to clarify all elements and to release them as quickly as possible.”

This affair comes at a time when tensions between Moscow and Paris are escalating: Russia is in reality suspected of a sequence of acts of destabilization and disinformation in France, whereas France is criticized for its rising help for Ukraine.

The Zamoskvoretsky court docket in Moscow ordered, on the request of investigators, the detention of Laurent Vinatier, 47, at the least till August 5, with a view to a attainable trial, in keeping with Agence France Presse (AFP) .

An offense punishable by 5 years in jail

The solely cost cited in opposition to Laurent Vinatier was not having registered as a “foreign agent”, an offense punishable by 5 years in jail. This laws is utilized by Russian authorities to repress or monitor their critics. During the listening to, the Frenchman, wearing denims and a black shirt, offered in French, translated by an interpreter, “his apologies for not having registered”. “Especially since in all my work, I have always tried (…) to present, support, explain Russia's interest,” he added.

His lawyer Alexei Sinitsyn harassed that his consumer “did not know” that he was obliged to register beneath this label. He requested, in useless, the location of Mr. Vinatier – married and father of 4 kids – beneath home arrest in Moscow, along with his spouse.