Russian loan: Marine Le Pen claims to have never “mentioned the existence of this loan with Vladimir Putin”
“Is that clear Mr. President? ! “ It is with annoyance that the former boss of the National Front then of the National Rally, Marine Le Pen answered, this Wednesday,…
“Is that clear Mr. President? ! “ It is with annoyance that the former boss of the National Front then of the National Rally, Marine Le Pen answered, this Wednesday, the questions of the parliamentary commission of inquiry on foreign interference. “If that had committed me to anything, I would not have signed” a loan with a Russian bankshe said in particular Marine Le Pen.
Regarding this loan of nine million euros contracted in 2014, which has to be determined whether it gave rise to political counterparties, “I sign a loan with a bank, I do not sign a loan with Vladimir Putin,” hammered the unsuccessful presidential candidate. She said she did not know that the head of this bank was close to the Russian authorities.
The Russian loan from the RN is at the heart of the attacks carried out by the opponents of Marine Le Pen, in the first place Emmanuel Macron, who had estimated that the far-right candidate spoke “to (her) banker when she speaks of Russia “, during the debate between the two rounds of the 2022 presidential election. During a hearing before the commission of inquiry 15 days ago, the former FN MEP Jean-Luc Schaffhauser explained that he had been charged by Marine Le Pen of the negotiations so that the party concludes in 2014 a loan with Russian banks, but without “counterpart” or “political pressure”. A loan of 9.4 million euros was finally concluded in 2014 with a Czech-Russian bank, whose debt is still being reimbursed.
Defending herself from any “Russian tropism”, the patron saint of RN deputies explained that the movement, at the time the FN, was facing great financial difficulties. “We have never succeeded in obtaining the slightest loan from a French or European bank, despite 200 letters to banking establishments. It is under these conditions that we were forced and forced to seek a loan abroad. I then chose the Czech-Russian bank rather than an Iranian or Chinese bank,” she first explained.
“I do not sign with Mr Poutine”
But “the arrival of a loan has never changed our positions and our ideas in geopolitical matters. This loan has been checked, overchecked by everyone, as well as its repayments,” she continued, claiming that she had never secretly traveled to Russia. Asked about the link between these trips and obtaining the loan in stride, Marine Le Pen considered that it was “an abuse to make a link between the two events”.
“I do not sign a loan with Mr Poutine, but with a bank. I’m lucky, I’ve never been the victim of even an attempt at interference, ”defended the MP, uring that she was unaware that the bank was directed by a close friend of Moscow. . “Besides, if I had had this information, I would have made fun of it madly,” she considered. “I did not mention the existence of this loan with Mr. Putin during our meeting in 2017”, nor with the other Kremlin officials she was able to meet, she promises.
The commission of inquiry had been launched by the RN group in the embly at the end of 2022, precisely to try to cut short the accusations making the far-right party an agent of Russian influence in France. The other camps denounce a “diversion” of the National Rally.