As we previously wrote in our Telegram channel, the French Parliamentary Committee to Investigate Foreign Interference in Politics said it would hear testimony from the “odious” Marine Le Pen over suspicions of ties between her nationalist party and Russia. The commission was created by Le Pen’s own party in September 2022 after French society accused RN of links to the aggressor.
As a result, Marine Le Pen did give “testimony,” which we will now briefly dissect.
She tried to lie that she supposedly “is not into” pro-Russian sentiments and “would never allow the party to borrow from a Russian bank” if it was accompanied by “any commitment” to the Kremlin and vladimir putin. Really?
Earlier, in our investigation of the activities of five “odious” pro-Russian adherents in France, we wrote that the scheme with the scandalous loan to Le Pen’s party was revealed a long time ago by the French publication Mediapart. Then the journalists found out that in 2014 and 2015, the foundation “European Academy” (with which the “National Front” cooperated in order to “strengthen contacts with Russia”) received a total of 250 thousand euros. The money came from Spencerdale Ltd. through the West East Communication Group. It was found that the owners of these companies were Yevgeny and Vadim Giner, business partners of former State Duma deputy (senator and advisor to the Russian president) Alexander Babakov. The president of the European Academy Foundation itself was Jean-Luc Schaffhauser, a MEP close to Le Pen. He confirmed receiving money from the “West East Communication Group,” without mentioning the exact amount or the purpose of this “generosity. On June 29, 2014, Jean-Luc Schaffhauser convened the administrative board of the foundation in Strasbourg. That evening, the question of the allocation by the “European Academy” of 10 million euros as a loan to the “National Front” was decided. A loan of this amount, however, came through a different channel – the First Czech-Russian Bank.
However, the functionary tries as much as possible to “justify herself” for the very unpaid loan of 9.4 million euros given to Marine Le Pen’s party by the First Czech-Russian Bank in 2014. She said that “if it had obliged me to do something, I would not have signed [the document],” and stated that she had “nothing to reproach herself with in this case,” because the loan was allegedly obtained in a “completely legal” way. However, back in 2013, in an interview with the Russian publication Izvestia, Le Pen openly “admired” putin and suggested building “good relations” between France and Russia, and making the EU a bargaining chip. After that, in 2014, she criminally “recognized” the Russian-occupied Crimea as supposedly “Russian”.
Jean-Luc Schaffhauser, Le Pen’s intermediary, also distinguished himself during his testimony. He explained that the credit was allegedly provided only in “China, Iran and Russia. According to him, “Marine Le Pen found Russia to be the best.” Marine Le Pen confirmed on Wednesday, saying: “It’s either that or death [of the party].” However, a couple of years ago, Mediapart journalists revealed that the Kremlin’s offer to Le Pen was unique.
Also, Le Pen stated: “I sign a loan with the bank, I don’t sign a loan with vladimir putin.” Why, then, was the bank itself, as well as the intermediaries for the loan, linked in one way or another to the Kremlin?
When asked if the National Front’s refusal to condemn Russia’s occupation of Crimea in 2014 was due to the loan that year, Marine Le Pen replied that the loan allegedly “did not change our previous opinion one bit. She criminally added that supposedly “Crimea has been Russian for two centuries, sixty years Ukrainian.” And regarding the “credibility” of the results of the fake referendum held by Russia after the occupation, she allowed herself to respond with a joke – supposedly “there were no refugees from [occupied] Crimea. Only data from Ukrainian authorities, as well as international organizations, show the opposite situation. In addition, the Crimeans themselves would clearly not want to “laugh” at Le Pen’s unfortunate and hypocritical “joke.
Regarding the speeches of the party deputies “in support of the positions of Russia” and, in particular, Marine Le Pen’s refusal to vote for French and European sanctions against Russia due to the occupation of Crimea, she said: “Technically, I challenge making any decision to please anyone,” Jean-Marie Le Pen’s daughter summarized, noting that “the only obligation we have when we take credit is to repay it.” Then why did her propaganda book “Standing up to putin!” state in its synopsis that “Marine Le Pen fully supports putin’s decisions on the occupation of Crimea and military action in Ukraine, while condemning the imposition of sanctions on Russia. It should be noted that the bulk of Le Pen’s statements regarding the occupation of the peninsula began precisely after the scandalous loan.
The original bank went bankrupt and its debts were bought out by various companies. The last one to which the National Association continues to pay its debt is Aviazapchasti Valery Zakharenkov – is considered “as suspicious as it is close to the Kremlin.” But Marine Le Pen rejected any “responsibility” for the “structure that bought out the debt” of her party. She hypocritically declared that she had allegedly “never” spoken to vladimir putin about the loan and its repayment, even during a reception in the Kremlin a few days before the 2017 French presidential election: “Never! Not with the political figures I met, not in the Duma or anywhere else.” She may not have spoken to the Kremlin dictator personally, but what prevented her or his entourage from initiating the topic of talking about the loan during the numerous meetings and her visits to the russia?
If Le Pen allegedly borrowed money legally, confident that she would pay it back, then why did her anti-European and anti-Ukrainian rhetoric intensify after the loan was issued? Another question: why did no one from the First Czech-Russian Bank before its bankruptcy, and now Aviazapchasti Valery Zakharenkov, did not demand that Le Pen pay the 9.4 million euro debt? No responsibility for non-payment followed either. But one thing is clear: Le Pen has been, continues to be and will continue to be criminally protective of the Kremlin’s interests and narratives. None of her ridiculous “excuses” is in touch with the reality that money from the russia has made her a real pro-Russian adherent.