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French presidential hopeful Fillon dismisses Russian 'interference' in election as 'fantasy'

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French center-right presidential candidate Francois Fillon has dismissed allegations of Russian interference in the French election, calling them "fantasies," and saying that Europe should seek a dialogue with Moscow.

"We must avoid these fantasies," the French politician said, referring to the recurring speculation about Russia's alleged interference in the electoral process in France.

"There is enough unwelcome interference in this electoral campaign to not need to go and seek some in Russia," Fillon told reporters, as he outlined his defense program at a press briefing, adding that French politicians "are sufficiently capable" of interfering in the election campaigns of their rivals themselves.

Earlier, Fillon accused the French government, and President Francois Hollande in particular, of ordering leaks of compromising materials about him and his wife, which led to a large-scale fraud investigation and a drop in Fillon's ratings.



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