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From Russia With Love
National Front Asks Russia for $30 Million Loan

Marine Le Pen’s National Front has had a close relationship with the Kremlin in recent years. Now, the Moscow Times reports that Le Pen is looking to Russia for some more financial assistance:

France’s far-right National Front party has asked Russia for a 27-million-euro ($30 million) loan, claiming that the party needs it to finance its election campaigns in 2017, The Times newspaper reported Friday, citing the party’s treasurer.

Le Pen’s party received a loan of 11 million euro from a bank with ties to Russia in 2014. At that time, French politicians and media claimed that the loan bought the party’s public support of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, the Meduza news agency reported.

The CIA has reportedly been investigating European political parties, looking for Russian influence, and we wouldn’t be surprised if the Kremlin were involved in other countries. As we’ve written before, “cracking down on Russian espionage, both commercial and strategic, tracing and publicizing the flow of money and influence in the Kremlin’s propaganda enterprise, and countering Russian disinformation and attempts to shape world opinion must now become part of Western policy.” This latest story is a reminder of the ongoing importance of that effort.

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  • Fat_Man

    Don’t forget that they also fund environmentalists in the US.

  • Andrew Allison

    It makes perfect sense for the so-called “far-right” FN to seek money wherever it can be found. What, if anything, does this have to do with “cracking down on Russian espionage, both commercial and strategic, tracing and publicizing the flow of money and influence in the Kremlin’s propaganda enterprise, and countering Russian disinformation and attempts to shape world opinion must now become part of Western policy.”? FN appears to be taking advantage of Russia’s interest in destabilizing Europe. Perhaps the real question is whether a moribund Europe needs to be destabilized. Isn’t it a bridge too far to assume that should the “far-right” FN actually achieve power it would promote the interests of a “far-left” foreign power rather than those of France?

    • Enemy Leopard

      As the post states, the FN supported Russia’s adventures in Ukraine. Whether you suspect quid pro quo there depends on your perspective, I suppose.

      • Andrew Allison

        “At that time, French politicians and media claimed that the loan bought the party’s public support of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, . . . ” Hardly a disinterested source. The supposed source of this revelation, Meduza, actually had this to say:
        “Representatives of Marine Le Pen’s renowned French National Front party did not attend the forum. Moreover, former National Front party member Olivier Wyssa, who was in attendance, criticized his former allies. He claimed that most of Le Pen’s friends are homosexuals, many of them are “Jewish freemasons,” and Le Pen herself failed to fight legislation allowing abortions and gay marriages.”
        (https://meduza.io/en/feature/2015/03/24/europe-s-far-right-flocks-to-russia)

        • Enemy Leopard

          It’s not difficult to find other sources that confirm le Pen’s support for Russia’s desired policies in Ukraine. Some very friendly coverage from Russia Times:

          https://www.rt.com/news/marine-pen-russia-ukraine-128/

          Some less friendly but ostensibly neutral coverage from The Week:

          http://www.theweek.co.uk/europe/61498/russia-funds-french-national-front-is-moscow-sowing-european-unrest

          I could go on. Russian banks loaned the National Front, along with most of the other nationalist parties in western Europe, a large sum of money. National Front supported Russia’s desired policies in Ukraine. These are the facts. Whether you suspect quid pro quo depends, as I said, on your perspective.

          • Andrew Allison

            Nowhere in the RT article linked to does Le Pen specifically endorse Russia’s actions there. What are Russia’s desired policies in Ukraine?

          • Enemy Leopard

            “She [le Pen] said she believes that the only viable way out of the deadlock would be a policy of Ukrainian federalization. She sees the prospect of holding referendums and federalization as a ‘wise and carefully weighed’ decision.”

            “Meanwhile, the city of Donetsk has since March been seeing people come out en masse in support of a federalized Ukraine. Similar large crowds were seen in Kharkov and Lugansk, with the demonstrations showing no signs of stopping, after Kiev’s recent decision by the coup-appointed authorities to strip the Russian language of its special official status in Ukraine and remove a number of pro-Russian officials from government in the areas.”

            If you read between the lines, and remember that RT is government-funded, it’s obvious that Russia wanted a federalized Ukraine as a way of dividing the country and pulling the eastern provinces closer into its political orbit. This is a straightforward and strategically obvious goal, one opposed by all Western governments yet supported by National Front.

            All I’ve claimed here is that le Pen supported the Russian position in Ukraine after receiving large loans from Russian banks. I’m satisfied that the point stands, so I’m walking away now.

          • Andrew Allison

            No, you claimed something quite different, namely “As the post states, the FN supported Russia’s adventures in Ukraine.”

          • Enemy Leopard

            If anybody a hundred years from now happens to read this exchange: Yes, I’m as dumbfounded by these responses as you are. Jeremiah 5:21 is indeed timeless.

  • Episteme

    So, at least they’re being up FRONT about it? *snare drum*

  • Jim__L

    Is there any other news outlet besides the **Moscow Times** that is carrying this story?

    I’m sorry, but the people who brought you Pravda do not inspire a lot of trust.

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