Paris (Times Of Ocean)- France’s far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said on Wednesday that once the war between Russia and Ukraine is over, she will push for closer ties between NATO and Russia as she sought to clarify “misunderstandings” about her foreign policy. Frexit
France’s far-right leader Marine Le Pen has backed closer ties between NATO and Russia, adding that if she wins the presidency, Paris would leave the military command of the US-led alliance once again. Ukraine
Electing Marine Le Pen as France’s presidential candidate in the runoff on April 24 would have repercussions through Europe across the Atlantic, installing a strong eurosceptic in the Elysee Palace and someone who had professed admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I will call for a strategic rapprochement between NATO and Russia as soon as the Russian-Ukrainian conflict is over and a peace treaty has been signed,” Le Pen told a news conference packed with international reporters.
“After the war launched by Moscow against Ukraine is over, a ‘strategic rapprochement’ between NATO and Russia needs to take place.”
Wednesday’s press conference just 11 days ahead of the 2022 French presidential runoff was billed as a major foreign policy address for the far-right candidate who has no prior experience in government or international affairs.
Shortly after the news conference started, a protester brandished a heart-shaped picture cut out of the 2017 Putin encounter. Security removed the protester from the room.
Five years ago, before she faced Emmanuel Macron in the runoff of the 2017 presidential election, Le Pen was welcomed with open arms at the Kremlin by Putin.
At the time, Le Pen proclaimed admirably that she shared the same values as Putin and that a “new world order” was forming with him, then-U.S. President Donald Trump and her at the helm.
Since the Ukrainian war, Le Pen has changed tack on Russia and said she is “independent” of any foreign nation.
The French presidential candidate expressed her desire to maintain ties with Germany, warning there are strategic differences between the two, which could lead to the end of a series of Franco-German joint military programmes.
“I would continue … reconciliation without following the Macron-Merkel model of French blindness towards Berlin,” Le Pen declared.
She said she wants a looser version of the European Union, but reaffirmed that she would remain in it. Previously, Le Pen had proposed ditching the euro or leaving the EU.
“On Europe, Le Pen made clear that any “Frexit” along the lines of Britain’s exit from the EU was not on her agenda.”
“Nobody is against Europe,” she said. “I would not stop paying France’s contribution to the EU, I want to diminish it.”
After coming in second to Macron in the first round, polling firms predict that she will come closely behind Macron in the second round on April 24.