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Donbass has become a popular destination for French nationalists

Донбасс стал популярным направлением у французских националистов

The newspaper Le Monde on Friday, March 4, tells of the preparations for the next visit of the Deputy of the French National front in the Donbass. In may beyond the control of Kiev is going to visit a supporter of marine Le Pen, Gilbert Collard.

As noted by the Deputy, it will be a “private trip”, does not reflect the position of natsfronta. However, representatives of natsfronta remain the only French parliamentarians visiting the region torn apart the last two years of armed conflict, support from Russia. Moreover, the party receives generous loans to his campaign from Russian banks. The reasons for this strong relationship between Natsfronta and the Kremlin understands Le Monde.

Collard is not the first functionary natsfronta, who decided to go in the Donbass, besides through Russia without agreement with Kiev. In January in the East of Ukraine visited the other French “delegation of supporters natsfronta”: Jacques Clostermann and the lawyer, Josy-Jean Bousquet. At the invitation of the separatists of Donbass, they examined the destroyed Donetsk airport and debaltseve. In November 2014 in Donetsk, with “private visit” was the ally of marine Le Pen, MEP Jean-Luc Schaffhauser. In Donbass Schaffhauser came to attend the elections organized by the separatists of the DPR then the first violation of the Minsk agreements. Its presence in the Donbass he then explained that a “man who fights for peace”.

Putin appreciated

Jean-Luc Schaffhauser newspaper Le Monde calls the key person in relations between Russia and the party “national front”. He was also present as an observer at the referendum in Crimea on 16 March 2014. The Peninsula Schaffhauser came together with the adviser to marine Le Pen on foreign policy and the MEP Americom Chopracom. Later, Amrik Chauprade, which Le Monde describes as “a convinced Russophile”, left the natsfronta and created his own party. Jean-Luc Schaffhauser returned to the Donbass in may of 2015, in the company of Emmanuel Roy, former adviser to marine Le Pen during the presidential campaign of 2012. Now Emmanuel Leroy calls himself a representative of the French humanitarian Association “Emergency assistance to children of Donbass”.

Speaking about the origins of such warm relations between the Kremlin and the French Natsfronta, Le Monde interviewed experts argue that the turning point was the events of February—March 2014 in Crimea. Vladimir Putin appreciated the visit of French nationalists in the capacity of observers, in Moscow staged a “referendum” on the status of the Peninsula. This was the signal that marine Le Pen is ready to go beyond mere approval of the position of the Kremlin.

In search of new loans

Le Monde also reminds us that in April 2015 the hackers from the organization “Anonymous international” published the correspondence of Russian officials in which they discussed the possibility to invite marine Le Pen as an observer at the referendum in the Crimea. And after the leader of the French nationalists called the referendum results “an indisputable”, officials from the administration of the Russian President has decided, according to the hackers published the correspondence, as a “reward” Natsfronta.

A few months after the events in Crimea Natsfronta badly in need of funding to conduct the election campaign, receives a loan of 9 million euros from the First Czech-Russian Bank, indirectly controlled by businessman Gennady Timchenko, a close friend of President Putin. According to the French newspaper Le Canard enchaîné, 450 thousand of this amount was received personally by Mr. Shafhauser, as a mediator. Marine Le Pen of the receipt of the loan then confirmed, however, categorically denied that it may have an impact on the position of natsfronta.

As the authors of an article in the newspaper Le Monde, the upcoming trip of the Deputy natsfronta in the Donbass coincides with the statement of the Treasurer of the party that “national front” again needs a loan of 27 million euros for the financing of the presidential and parliamentary campaigns of 2017, and that the party does not rule out the possibility again to apply for the loan to Russian banks.

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