"Crimean credit" for Marine Le Pen

Author : Serhiy Stelmakh

Source : 112 Ukraine

The desire to obtain Russian financing is so great that some well-known European politicians have to voice their position publicly
10:26, 6 January 2017

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Shameless annexation of Crimea not only demoralized the Russian opposition, but also destroyed foundations of the European democracy. Extreme right-wing and left-wing populists parasitize on the theme of Donbas war and occupied peninsula.

The desire to obtain Russian financing is so great that some well-known European politicians have to say it publicly. They occupy a frank pro-Kremlin stance on the most sensitive for the Russian president issues: the annexation of Crimea and the war in the east of Ukraine. Recently, French presidential candidate, leader of the "National Front" Marine Le Pen has provoked a scandal, saying the Russian seizure of Crimea was legal.

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"I absolutely do not believe that there was an illegal annexation: there was a referendum, the people of Crimea wanted to join Russia," said the French politician.

According to recent opinion polls, she became the leader of the presidential race in France. The survey revealed by Іpso, released in November last year, 29% of the French would vote for Le Pen. Known Russophile Nicolas Sarkozy, who at that time had not dropped out of the presidential race, had 8% less. European political experts compared Le Pen to the phenomenon of Donald Trump, who unexpectedly won the US presidential election, and with Brexit.

Related: Putin's French far-right friend

Why Le Pen voice some statements on Crimea today? Anticipating a fast victory in the presidential elections, the leader of the "Popular Front" needs money. And the Kremlin skillfully manipulates the situation.

Even in 2014, this far-right political force has received a loan in the amount of 9 million euros in the First Czech-Russian Bank (FCRB). Most of the French and European financial institutions have refused to give money to the "Popular Front". And then Jean-Luc Shafhauser (MEP from the party of Le Pen) offered to take money from the Russians, using personal connections. Mr Shafhauseru could easily reach an agreement with the Russians, as he went as an "observer" to the illegal "elections" in the terrorist "republics" of Donbas. Moscow businessmen have allocated a specified amount through FCRB. French journalists have found out that Roman Popov, who owns FCRB, is directly related to a major Russian oligarch and friend of Russian President Gennady Timchenko.

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Last summer, the Russian Central Bank revoked the license of the First Czech-Russian Bank. The Russian Deposit Insurance Agency recently announced that it appealed to court to collect the debt on the loan, issued by FCRB for the party of Le Pen. After the bank was deprived of licenses, rights for claims were ceded to a third party, but the agency intended to contest it.

Related: Austria to allocate €2 million for Donbas residents

Le Pen has been literally cornered. And the Kremlin's media relish the details of her financial problems. She lacks 6 million euros to carry out pre-election marathon. The politician admitted that she intends to ask for money from some sources. "I went to a number of European, American, Russian banks," said Le Pen. However, she did not voiced the concrete financial institutions. Although it is now clear that her main creditors might be Kremlin businessmen.

Related: Le Pen could soften her statements on Ukraine after elections, - Ukrainian diplomat

Marine Le Pen and has already received a signal from Moscow about readiness to provide "Crimean credit" and to restructure the previous one. So she decided to take the lead by recognizing the peninsula Russian territory. The interesting point is that, as a political party, which a priori can not do business, intends to repay the debt. "Popular Front" leader expects that the money will simply be written off. The transaction is made under the guise of a loan, because French law permits campaign donations, but only on the part of individuals.

Related: Le Pen’s office reacts on possible ban on entry to Ukraine after Crimea comments

Kremlin media interpret information that Putin can influence elections in the West, in the USA and the EU. For example, after winning Trump, state propagandists convinced people that he has got his pass to the Oval Office, the Republican candidate has got allegedly thanks to the pro-Russian position. Now Putin is trying to repeat the same lies with Le Pen.

Related: Security Service requests Foreign Ministry to ban entry for Le Pen

The current Kremlin regime in the years of the oil well being learned not only to plunder the country, exporting the currency abroad, but also corrupt the European elite. It is worth recalling how Russian politicians behaved in spring 2014. They were sincerely convinced that Europe will close its eyes to the annexation of Crimea, tempted by Russian money. After all, 6-9 million euros are a "small bribe" for the Kremlin strategist. They thought that lured agents of influence will be able to influence their governments, bowing them to pro-Moscowian decision.

Related: Reuters: 'Everything but Hillary Clinton,' France's Le Pen says, backing Trump

The venture failed because the Ukrainians have not allowed the Kremlin to implement the plan "New Russia". Americans initially took a hard line, refusing to recognize Krumea the part of Russia. After the MH17 tragedy Western Russophile took a precarious position. Any apology of Vladimir Putin's policy is seen as protecting the murderers of European citizens. Since the "green men" have come to the Ukrainian peninsula, a political "game" of the Kremlin has gone too far. And one Putin’s "credit" for Le Pen is too cheap award.

Related: Marine Le Pen says Crimea annexation "was not illegitimate"

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