An obscure Russian aviation firm is suing the far-right party led by French politician Marine Le Pen to retrieve a $11 million loan, according to media reports.
A number of publishers have collaborated on a story that suggests the Moscow City Court of Arbitration will hear the case against Le Pen’s National Rally party on 2nd June.
Len Pen was handed the loan in 2014 by the Moscow-based First Czech-Russian Bank. The bank has since lost its license, and rights to the loan were first passed to Konti, another little-known Russian company, before being handed to Aviazapchast – an aviation firm.
Although the First Czech-Russian Bank has denied any involvement with Putin’s government, Aviazapchast is involved in “high-priority strategic partnerships for the Russian state, including exports to the Syrian Ministry of Defense,” according to a report by the US-based German Marshall Fund.
It’s unclear why exactly Aviazapchast has been granted rights to the loan, but it seems the retrieval of the cash will benefit the Russian state in one way or another.
This story draws into focus the links between Russian politics and right-wing populist groups on both sides of the Atlantic.
Le Pen herself is notoriously anti-immigrant, and has argued for the “de-Islamisation” of French society.
We have known for years that Russia has launched a mass disinformation campaign to poison Western elections. It wouldn’t be very surprising if Putin has tried to pollute democracy with corrupt Kremlin cash, either.
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