Members of France’s National Assembly said Saturday they asked the lower house’s president to investigate alleged Russian financing of political groups.
In a letter to Yael Braun-Pivet that was shown to reporters, members of parliament explained that the decision to take this action was prompted by the recent declassification of intelligence from the United States showing that Russia had paid hundreds of millions of euros to political parties in other countries “with the aim to… influence elections.”
Eight members of parliament affiliated with French President Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche party have brought attention to the fact that Marine Le Pen’s far-right Rassemblement National is still making payments on a loan from Russian banks.
“These facts clearly suggest,” the MPs wrote as cited by Reuters, “a Russian will to weigh in the French public debate … they warrant the set-up of an investigation committee to establish if French political parties – and which ones – have benefited from Russian financing.”
A senior official in the Biden administration said on September 13 that, based on declassified U.S. intelligence, the U.S. expects Russia to use covert political financing more in the coming months to get around international sanctions over the war in Ukraine and keep Moscow’s influence abroad.
The official, however, omitted to specify which nations were thought to have been the focus of Russian influence operations or to offer concrete proof to support the allegations of covert finance.
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