Wednesday, May 22, 2024
 
 

French far-right leader Le Pen sued by Russian firm

EPA-EFE/STEPHANIE LECOCQ
French far-right Rassemblement National (RN) President Marine Le Pen gives a press conference to announce the creation of a new political group 'Identity and Democracy' (ID) at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, 13 June 2019. The group consists of various nationalist, euroskeptic and right-wing populist parties that were elected to the European Parliament in the 23-26 May election.

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A Russian company is suing the political party led by French far-right politician Marine Le Pen, to recover a loan lent in 2014 to help her fund election campaign.
An investigative website reported that Le Pen’s party took out €9.4 million in 2014 from the Moscow-based First Czech-Russian Bank. However, in 2016, the bank lost its license and the loan was sold to a car rental agency called Konti.
Konti then transferred the right to claim the loan to another Russian aircraft parts company, Aviazapchast, which has filed a complaint against Le Pen’s National Rally party with a Russian court in December. Le Pen’s party was at the time called the National Front Party, and has since been renamed National Rally.
Le Pen has previously criticized Western sanctions against Russia over its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. In 2014, critics accused her party of being used as by the Kremlin to lobby its political interests in France.
The US-based German Marshall Fund reported in 2018 that Aviazapchast has links to Russian intelligence services. The tink-tank was blacklisted by Russia’s justice ministry as an organization “whose operation has been recognized as undesirable on Russian territory”.

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