It literally pays to be a European friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin. At least that’s the experience of Marine Le Pen, whose far-right National Front party has secured a €9 million Russian bank loan in what appears to be a Kremlin bet on the future of French politics.

The National Front, an anti-immigrant, anti-European Union party with a rich history of racism and anti-Semitism, certainly can use the money. In 2012, the latest year for which data on French political party financing are available, its cash inflows amounted to €6.2 million, about 1/10th of what the ruling Socialist Party took in.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.