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.