Is Marine Le Pen indebted to Russia? Auditioned this Wednesday by the National Assembly, the leader of the RN group at the Bourbon palace defended herself from everything “ Russian tropism ». At the center of the concerns of the parliamentary commission of inquiry into foreign interference, a loan of 9.4 million euros contracted in 2014 by the Rassemblement National with a Czech-Russian bank.
Asked by the committee about possible “pressures” Or “political quid pro quos” in exchange for this loan, the RN deputy defends herself. “If that had committed me to anything, I would not have signed” this loan, she declares, justifying herself by the financial difficulties of his party.
For the National Rally, “it was that or die”says Marine Le Pen. “We have nothing to reproach ourselves with in this affair. This loan is perfectly legal, perfectly verified”insists the former presidential candidate.
Jean-Luc Schaffhauser, the intermediary of the RN
At the origin of this loan, the former MEP Rassemblement bleu Marine (RBM) Jean-Luc Schaffhauser. The latter negotiated the loan with the Russian bank, even acknowledging in 2021 to have “was paid” for that.
This self-proclaimed “great connoisseur of Russia”close to the fundamentalist Catholics of Opus Dei, had attended the 2014 elections organized by the pro-Russian separatists of Donbass, in eastern Ukraine. He claimed to have gone there as” observer ” And ” personally “.
Auditioned two weeks ago by the deputies, Jean-Luc Schaffhauser had also denied any “political pressure” Or “counterpart” towards the Kremlin. The former MEP explained that the loan had been motivated by the reluctance of Western banks to lend to the RN. “We could only find on the Chinese side, Iran, or Russia: Marine Le Pen considered Russia to be the best”he said.
Questioned by the Assembly on the ” chance “ between “Marine Le Pen’s position in favor of the Russian annexation of Crimeaand, a few weeks later, the fact that there is a loan that takes place »Jean-Luc Schaffhauser had kicked in touch, simply saying that the deputy RN “knew his story”. Marine Le Pen said in 2014 that “Crimea has been Russian for many, many years “.