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France's far-right leader Marine Le Pen denies ties with Russia and Hungary

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen speaks to medias at the National Assembly in Paris, Thursday, March 16, 2023
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen speaks to medias at the National Assembly in Paris, Thursday, March 16, 2023 Copyright Thomas Padilla/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Thomas Padilla/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Euronews with AFP
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French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has called a parliamentary inquiry looking into possible links between her National Rally party and Russia a 'witch hunt.'

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At the centre of discussions is a €9.4 million loan her party took out from a Czech-Russian bank, which is still being repaid.

Le Pen, who is trying to shake off accusations of party ties to Russia's President Putin and Hungarian leader Viktor Orban, says the loan came with no strings attached.   

"This is a sort of witch trial," Le Pen told the hearing.

"What you don't like is that we have positions that may be different from yours, and perhaps different from those of the European Union. Again, this is called democracy. 

"We are elected. Once again, we have never hidden our positions, which differ from those of the European Union, on sanctions [against Russia]. We share this disagreement with The Republicans. And we all went before the voters, who elected us."

Le Pen insisted she gave "nothing as a guarantee" to obtain the loan.

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