While he qualifies for the second round of the presidential election, Marine Le Pen has announced that he will plead, if elected, for “a strategic partnership between NATO and Vladimir Putin”. A statement that raises questions about the relationship the Kremlin candidate is pursuing.
“A strategic rapprochement between NATO and Russia once the Russia-Ukrainian war is over”, were the comments made by Marine Le Pen on Wednesday April 13 at a press conference. Statements that did not fail to react. But what about the French presidential candidate’s links to the Kremlin? What are his future ambitions vis-à-vis Putin? The Dispatch and political scientist Bruno Cautrès investigated.
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2017, financial support from the Kremlin
In 2017, as Marine Le Pen started the presidential race, the Front National candidate (now renamed Rassemblement National) went to Moscow to meet with Vladimir Putin. It was a shocking meeting because the Kremlin leader rarely sees the company of a campaign candidate. However, what is not surprising at the time isendless praise of Marine Le Pen to the leader of Russia.
In effect, in 2014, the leader of the far right party had already refused to vote for a resolution of the European Parliament with condemnation of russia during his invasion of Crimea and announced his ideological proximity to large numbers nationalists in Europe As Victor Orban, head of the Hungarian government. “There is a sense on the part of the right that France relies heavily on Europe and NATO and that there is a need to develop new relations with Russia”, Bruno Cautrès explained.
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Diplomatic relations but also Finance where Marine Le Pen bet. “These are the main questions about finances that brought him to the Kremlin,” the political scientist pointed out. In question, a credit of 9.4 million euros provided to the candidate to spend his or her campaign expenses for the 2014 regional and departmental elections by First Czech-Russian Banka bank known for its proximity to Russian secret services.
Subsequently, in 2017, all French banks concerned about their reputation were denied funding, it included Hungary that Marine Le Pen finally found enough to financially secure his presidential campaign in tone beyond 10 million euros. Viktor Orban, who is close to Vladimir Putin, is therefore important for the candidate to consolidate the relations that have been maintained with him.
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While since February 24 Russia has declared war on Ukraine, its proximity to the RN candidate being elevated to the second round of the presidential election raises questions. “Compared to 2017, Marine Le Pen has put her links to Russia a little more. She has found another banking solution and quickly condemned the war in Ukraine“, said Bruno Cautrès. A strategy that has borne fruit so far.
Indeed, while many powers are pointing the finger at the Kremlin and accusing Putin of a war crime, Marine Le Pen seems to be walking on egg shells more when it comes to qualifying the consequences of the invasion. Russia in Ukraine. He was one of the rare candidates who did not directly condemn the Russian army after the discovery of mass grave of Boutcha. “It’s up to the UN who’s to blame,” he said.
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In addition, during his press conference on Wednesday April 13, Marine Le Pen made a point of announcing his desire. rebuilding Putin’s relationship with Russia, when the “Russian-Ukrainian war was over”. On March 31, he already said on the set of the program “Elysée 2022” in France 2, that Putin will be an “ally” again.
A unclear point of his program in international relations to which the candidate must respond as soon as possible. “I think Emmanuel Macron will come back to it during the debate between stages. In my opinion, attack him on the subject. We will have to wait to see how it will be explained, ”the political specialist warned.