The National Front in France has admitted taking a huge loan from a bank controlled by Russia. National Front leader Marine Le Pen announced last week that her party had taken an 11-million-dollar loan from the First Czech-Russian Bank. She made the announcement during a visit to Moscow. Her admission came as the French government delayed an agreement to deliver two warships for Russia. The French president’s office said the situation in Ukraine did not permit delivery of the warships, which carry helicopters. The ships are being built in the port of Saint Nazaire. The National Front has campaigned hard for the warship agreement to be completed. The party’s Gauthier Bouchet spoke to VOA in October. “Our position is to protect our industry, to protect our right to trade with every country that we want.”
The National Front has attracted thousands of people in French towns and cities. Opinion studies show it is the country’s most popular party.
Neil Barnett is with the Center for Policy Studies in London. He says supporting far-right, anti-European Union parties is part of a Russian strategy. “To divide European countries from each other, their governments from each other… To spread division within the European Union, but also more broadly to divide Europe from the U.S… Having radical political forces potentially forming governments in major EU states is a major contribution towards that.”
Full Article: French Party Accepts Loan from Russian Bank.