Keyword: Crimea

Crimea, Russian loans and the Le Pens: the Kremlin's intriguing SMS messages

Aymeric Chauprade, Jean-Luc Schaffhauser et Marine Le Pen au parlement européen, le 27 novembre 2014. © Reuters Aymeric Chauprade, Jean-Luc Schaffhauser et Marine Le Pen au parlement européen, le 27 novembre 2014. © Reuters

Secret text messages hacked from a senior official at the Kremlin highlight an intriguing coincidence between the Front National's support for the annexation of Crimea and the payment in subsequent months of 11 million euros in Russian bank loans to its president Marine Le Pen and her father Jean-Marie for party funding. SMS messages between two Russians refer to Marine Le Pen's recognition of the results of the Crimean referendum on March 17th, 2014, and the fact that she should be “thanked” in some way for it. The following month Jean-Marie Le Pen's micro party received a 2-million-euro loan from the offshoot of a Russian state bank subsidiary, while in September 2014 the Front National borrowed 9 million euros from the Moscow-based First Czech Russian Bank. Marine Le Pen has dismissed any link between the party's policy on Crimea and the loans. Agathe Duparc, Karl Laske and Marine Turchi investigate.

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