Since 2021, there have been two investigations in Paris: one for possible corruption and influence peddling, and the other for possible breach of trust and money laundering involving the association Franco-Russian Dialogue. Le Figaro stated that it was made public at the prosecutor's office in Paris.

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Mariani and di Borgo reportedly benefited from Russian funding

According to the same source, the Central Anti-Corruption Office's investigations "would have the primary purpose of verifying the veracity of the facts revealed." Le Monde reported that Mariani’s and Pozzo di Borgo’s trips were paid for by Russia. According to an official familiar with the case, the court is trying to determine whether or not these benefits could have been used as a reward for loyal statements made in support of Russia.

Under the endorsement of Presidents Jacques Chirac and Vladimir Putin, the organization Franco-Russian Dialogue was established in 2004. It positions itself as "a privileged instrument of contact between the political, economic, and cultural circles of the two nations" and seeks to "contribute to the deepening of the relationship between the two states".

The Franco-Russian Dialogue office was searched

When contacted by AFP, Thierry Mariani claimed: "to have learned of the existence of these investigations from the news." He stated that the Tracfin report "had occurred a month before the regional elections" in which he was running and that it had been "a year and a half" since the investigations had been carried out without informing him.

The association's premises had been the subject of a "search," but Mr. Mariani claimed that the "director" was the target of the inquiry. The association's accounts, according to Thierry Mariani, were "transparent and managed." He stated, "I do not own any shares in a Russian company, and I have never received any cash from Franco-Russian Dialogue.

Who is Thierry Mariani?

French politician Thierry Mariani has been a member of the European Parliament since 2019. He was elected to the far-right Rassemblement National (RN) (formerly known as the National Front), without joining the party. Mariani had several positions starting in 1976 in the cities of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. Between 1993 and 2017, he served in the French Parliament. From 2010 to 2012, he served as Secretary of State and later Minister for Transport.

Mariani illegally visited Crimea and observed phony referendums in occupied territories

As a member of a pro-Russian French group, he made an unlawful trip to Crimea in 2017. As an observer during the fraudulent 2018 elections in the so-called DPR, a pro-Russian separatist territory in Donbas, he was a member of the politically biased election observation teams.

On the Crimea issue, Mariani has openly served as a propagandist for Russia. He blasted "Europe" for referring to Crimea as occupied territory and asserting "the Crimean people's will to join Russia in 2014." Ukraine and the French Foreign Ministry stated that Mariani’s visit was a "violation of international law".