Is Russian President Vladimir Putin meddling in the internal politics of countries in the European Union? That seemed a strong possibility to some Europeans this week, after French political leader Marine Le Pen confirmed she had secured a €9-million ($11.1 million) loan from a Moscow-based bank, in order to run her right-wing National Front party. “At this stage, Russia is trying to influence French domestic policy,” says Jean-Yves Camus, a political researcher at France’s Institute of International and Strategic Relations (IRIS). If so, Putin’s strategy resembles the Soviet Union before its collapse in 1991, when Moscow funded trade unions and political groups in western Europe in an attempt to buy influence and destabilize foes. “In this respect Putin is pretty much in line with the former USSR. It is the same policy all over again,” says Camus.According to the Independent, the €9M loan is only the first installment in loans that will total €40M. But that's not all the Kremlin is doing:
There have been unconfirmed allegations in the United States that Moscow is funding the virulently xenophobic Hungarian party Jobbik and the avowedly neo-Nazi Greek party, Golden Dawn. A discussion paper from a Putin-supporting Moscow think-tank, leaked to the German press this week, urged the Kremlin to find ways of funding other Europhobic parties such as the emerging Alternative for Germany (AfD). The admiration of hard-line nationalist parties for Mr Putin is not only based on money. The Kremlin has gone out of its way to establish friendly ties with European political parties that share its view of the European Union as a meddlesome, US-controlled enemy of national sovereignty and destroyer of traditional religious and family values.PREVIOUSLY ON JMG: The National Front is a backer of the anti-gay Manif Pour Tous and has supported its numerous, vicious and often violent rallies, as have hate group leaders Brian Brown and Tony Perkins. Founder Jean-Marie Le Pen has been convicted six times for inciting racial hatred, including for denying that the Holocaust took place. Earlier this year he "joked" that his critics, who include Madonna, will be in the next "batch" headed for the gas chambers. He has also "joked" that ebola is the "solution" to Europe's immigration problems. Last year Le Pen's daughter, Marine Le Pen, herself a failed candidate for France's presidency, praised the man who committed suicide at Notre Dame Cathedral in protest of same-sex marriage. In February of this year Le Pen's granddaughter, 24 year-old Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, led a massive anti-gay march through the streets of Paris. (What a family.) In January of this year the youth leader for the National Front called for France to institute anti-gay laws similar to those in Russia.
Labels: France, Kremlin, LGBT rights, Manif Pour Tous, Marine Le Pen, National Front, neo-Nazis, religion, Russia, Vladimir Putin