Against the background of the rapidly decaying Franco-Russian relations, and also after the greatly controversial approval by Georgia of the ‘Foreign Agents’ law, it arises that a French citizen, the researcher Laurent Vinatier, has been arrested in Russia under the equivalent law, what in the US would be the FARA legislation.

French researcher Laurent Vinatier has today (7) pleaded guilty in a Moscow court on Friday to a charge of ‘failing to register as a foreign agent’ while gathering information on the Russian military – which in the present situation of course has become a big deal.

Vinatier, is facing up to five years in prison.

He is in pre-trial custody until Aug. 5, despite a request to free him endorsed by the French embassy.

Reuters reported:

“‘I apologize for not registering as a foreign agent. The most upsetting thing is that throughout the 10 years of my work, I tried to defend Russia and its interests’, state news agency RIA quoted him as saying in court.

Vinatier is a Russia specialist and adviser to HD, a Swiss-based conflict mediation group whose full name is the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue.

A short video posted by the Moscow courts service showed the Frenchman being led in handcuffs into the courtroom and ushered into a barred metal cage at the start of the hearing.”

French President Emmanuel Macron denies Vinatier worked for the French state.

“Under Russian law, a person is obliged to contact the justice ministry and register as a foreign agent if they are involved in political activity or collecting military information while receiving financial or other help from abroad.”

France’s consul general in Moscow, Patrice Servantie, wrote to the court that the scholar would not abscond if released, to no avail.

“Russia’s Investigative Committee, which handles serious crimes, said Vinatier was suspected to have “purposefully collected information in the field of military and military-technical activities” which could be used against the security of the state.”

Vinatier’s specialty is Russia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. He has worked as an adviser to HD for 10 years, based in Geneva.

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The post French Citizen Arrested in Moscow, Pleads Guilty To ‘Failing to Register as a Foreign Agent’ While Researching Russian Military appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

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