Imprisoned Russian opponent Alexei Navalny called on French voters on Wednesday to vote for Emmanuel Macron in the second round of presidential elections on Sunday, accusing Marine Le Pen’s party of compromising with Vladimir Putin.
“It is without hesitation that I call on the French to vote for Emmanuel Macron on April 24, but I would like to address those who do not rule out voting for Marine Le Pen,” wrote the activist in a series of tweets.
“A sale of political influence to Putin”
Imprisoned in Russia since January 2021 – and sentenced to 9 more years in prison last month – Alexei Navalny said he was “shocked” by the loan of 9 million euros contracted in 2014 by the National Front (now National Rally) with a Russian bank. “It’s corruption. And it is a sale of political influence to Putin, ”denounced the opponent.
The RN continues to repay this loan which was initially taken out in 2014 with a Russian bank, the First Czech-Russian Bank (FCBR), closed in 2016. “This bank is a well-known money laundering agency which has was created at the instigation of Putin. Would you like it if a French politician got a loan from Cosa Nostra? “, again launched Navalny, who built his notoriety with his investigations into the networks of corruption of the Russian elite.
The debt had been sold to a Russian car rental company, Conti, then resold to Aviazaptchast, a firm run by former Russian soldiers.
To justify having turned to a Russian financial institution, the FN accused him, the French banks of not granting him loans.