The RN indicated that it had “repaid its loan in advance”, nine years after having taken out a loan of 9.4 million euros from a Czech-Russian bank, the debt of which had been successively purchased by Russian companies.
“The company Aviazapchast has notified the National Rally of the successful receipt of funds corresponding to the early repayment of the loan contract linking the two entities,” indicated the RN in a press release on September 19.
The national right party emphasizes having “honored the repayment of the balance of its loan for an amount of 6,088,784 euros, capital and interest included”, more than four years before the December 2028 deadline. “Early repayment of the debt was possible without penalties, with payment of contractual interest until the day of the transfer,” specifies the RN.
The opponents of the RN had a field day
In 2014, the far-right party took out a loan from a Czech-Russian bank, the First Czech-Russian Bank (FCBR), French banks refusing, according to it, to lend it money. After the bank’s bankruptcy, the debt was sold to a Russian car rental company, Conti, then resold in 2019 to Aviazapchast, a firm run by former Russian military personnel and specializing in spare parts for aircraft.
The latter had taken legal action against the RN for “failure to reimburse”. An amicable agreement was reached in June 2020 to reschedule this loan over a period of eight years. But the RN’s Russian loan had become over the years the preferred angle of attack for the RN’s adversaries. During the debate between the two rounds of the 2022 presidential election, President Emmanuel Macron estimated that Marine Le Pen was speaking “to (her) banker when she talks about Russia”. An accusation that she denied outright.