Why would Chauprade deny this? The answer is obvious: the French National Front tries to distance itself from the extreme right and neo-Nazism, while Marine Le Pen has long been trying to present her party as non-extremist. Chauprade's visit to the illegitimate Crimean "referendum" on the invitation from the EODE undermines the National Front's "moderated, respectable image" in the run-up to the elections to the European Parliament.
Let us look at the reports on the "referendum" in the media:
Heute, 12 March 2014 (translated by me from German, there may be mistakes!):
Moscow has invited European right-wing populist parties in Europe, including the FPÖ, as observers of the upcoming referendum in the Crimea. [...]
The Russian organization "Eurasian Observatory for Democracy & Elections" has invited several MEPs from right-wing parties, including the FPÖ and Vlaams Belang, Front National and the Lega Nord, to observe the referendum in the Crimea.
Liberation, 13 March 2014 (translated by me from French, there may be mistakes!):
Aymeric Chauprade, Marine Le Pen's Special Adviser on international relations, will go on Sunday to Crimea to "observe the referendum process" as the geopolitics and as "special advisor to Marine Le Pen in international affairs," announced AFP with a reference to the entourage of the adviser, who is also head of the [Front National's] list in Île-de-France for the European elections. [...]EODE, 19 March 2014:
The invitation to Crimea was issued to him "as the geopolitics expert by a Brussels-based NGO called Eurasia," said the same source. A pro-Russian NGO, Eurasian Observatory for Democracy & Elections (EODE) invited representatives of right-wing European parties to go to Crimea as "observes" in the referendum.
Mr. Chauprade, an advisor to Marine Le Pen, was invited in a personal capacity, as geopolitical expert, by the Crimean parliament and not by EODE.
EUobserver, 21 March 2014:
Aymeric Chauprade’s entourage initially suggested he went to Crimea as the foreign policy advisor of FN’s leader, Marine Le Pen.The idea that Chauprade was invited by the "Crimean parliament" sounds ridiculous to all who understand the puppet nature of the "Crimean parliament" which is totally controlled by the Kremlin. Nobody in the "Crimean parliament" could have possibly invited any non-Russian international "monitor" at their own discretion.
But soon the party denied this was the case. Analysts suggested the about-turn was because the party was scared that it would send the wrong signals before France’s communal elections later this month.
The analysis of the earlier media reports, as well as common sense, suggests that it was exactly the EODE which had invited members of the National Front to "observe" the Crimean "referendum", but only Chauprade decided to go. The scandal which erupted following the discussions of the illegal "referendum" in the Western media, as well as the revealing details about the international "observers" in this blog, made the National Front's officials nervous, and they decided to deny the EODE connection.
In conclusion, more photos of the international "monitors" at the Crimean "referendum".
|Fourth from the right: Luc Michel, neo-Nazi head of the EODE|
|Mateusz Piskorski and Aymeric Chauprade (speaking)|
|Charalampos Angourakis (speaking)|
|Mateusz Piskorski and Erkki Johan Bäckman|
|Srđa Trifković and Nenad Popović|