Marine Le Pen in Moscow (2013)
In October this story ran in the French media:
Marine Le Pen dit “admirer” Vladimir Poutine
“Je ne cache pas que, dans une certaine mesure, j’admire Vladimir Poutine. Il commet des erreurs, mais qui n’en commet pas ? La situation en Russie n’est pas facile, et on ne peut pas régler rapidement les problèmes issus de la chute de l’URSS” “
I don’t hide that, to a degree, I admire Vladmir Putin. He’s made errors, but who doesn’t? The Russian situation isn’t simple, and one cannot quickly settled the problems which have arisen from the fall of the USSR.
A couple of days ago this interview appeared on EuroNews, with Marine Le Pen.
Are you ideologically close to Vladimir Putin?
I share at least a part of Vladimir Putin’s economic vision. That’s for sure, but it didn’t start yesterday.
The Front Nationale has never changed its position on this subject. We welcomed the arrival of a government that did not serve the ‘apparatchiks’ ; and which developed a patriotic economy.
You’ve said you have a certain admiration for him as a person.
Yes. I admire his cool head. Because there is a cold war being waged against him by the EU at the behest of United States, which is defending its own interests. I admire that he has managed to restore pride and contentment to a great nation that had been humiliated and persecuted for 70 years. Simple as that. I think that there are things you have to look on with a positive eye, or at least with an impartial eye .
Well, just on the reasons behind those tensions, a small number of countries have recognised the political situation in Crimea in relation to Russia. What about you. do you approve of the annexation?
At the time that that referendum was organised there was no legitimate power in Ukraine. It was an illegitimate power, a putsch.
It was Viktor Yanukovich himself who left. No one forced him to go. He fled.
Yes, with a knife at his throat. I think if he had stayed he would have been eliminated. So, I think the referendum was organised in conditions that were not so contestable and that the will of Crimea to be part of Russia is not so contestable. The annexation to Ukraine was against the will of Crimea.”
But Ukraine didn’t steal Crimea. It was Khrushchev who gave Crimea to Ukraine.
Yes, it was a gift. It was a gift, a gift. But I think Crimea would never have returned to Russia if the EU had not moved to recognise a government in Ukraine that was not, at the time, totally legitimate. The EU committed a serious error. In as much as there are highly dubious elements in this government, particularly a certain number of notorious Nazis.
They say that about your entourage also!
You’re joking, I hope! When I talk about Nazis in Ukraine, I’m talking about Nazis, Nazis, meaning Nazis with Nazi flags. But once again history will prove us right! But it’s alright, (sarcastically). I see, (you think), that there are nice Nazis. When they’re Ukrainian they’re ‘nice’ Nazis, not ‘nasty’ Nazis!
I’ve seen in the past governments condemned for brutalising their people, for firing on them. But that one in Kyiv is bombarding its own people, and no one is taking it to task.
Not surprisingly people have related this to the 9 million Euros lent to her party by a Russian Bank (First Czech Russian Bank (FCRB).
Her father’s ‘micro-party’ (Cotelec) has also benefited from similar largesse, – 2 millions Euros from a Cyprus based company run by a former member of the KGB.
Yesterday the Socialist Deputy, Razzy Hammadi, has demanded an inquiry into these generous acts.
The New York Times reports,
The money appears to be yet another sign of growing closeness between Europe’s far-right parties and Russia. Ms. Le Pen has been steadfast in her admiration of Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, even as France’s and indeed most of Europe’s relations with Russia have frayed over events in Ukraine. She has proposed breaking France’s relationship with NATO’s command in favor of a new alliance that would include Russia.
Her father, Jean-Marie, has long had ties to Russia’s ruling officials. In recent years, Le Pen family members have been frequent visitors to the Russian Embassy. Some analysts say that Marine Le Pen is an even more attractive ally to the Kremlin these days as she is doing well in the polls.
The National Front’s chief financial officer, Wallerand de Saint-Just, said the party needed substantial amounts of money for campaigns and might return to the lender in Moscow, First Czech Russian Bank, for more as it would need a minimum of $50 million. He said the party was paying 6 percent interest, which suggested it “was no special favor.”