French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said today that if she were president she would join forces with Russia after the war in Ukraine to ensure Moscow does not form an alliance with Beijing.
Le Pen, who faces incumbent Emmanuel Macron in the second round on Sunday, argues she sides with Ukraine in the war because she supports national sovereignty. However, she is a longtime admirer of Russian President Vladimir Putin and has received party loans from a Russian bank.
“It will be necessary diplomatically when war breaks out [in Ukraine] ends when a peace treaty is signed to try to avoid this entanglement, which could pose the greatest danger for us in the 21st century,” said Le Pen called in an interview with French public radio.
Le Pen rephrased her long-standing desire for a rapprochement with Moscow in new geopolitical terms, arguing: “Imagine … if we were the world’s first producer of commodities – Russia – [create an alliance] with the world’s first factory – that’s China – to perhaps make it the world’s first military power. I think it’s a potentially big hazard,” Le Pen said.
Le Pen has long wanted France and Europe to ally with Putin’s Russia. 2011 she has told Russian daily Kommersant said France and Russia have “common civilizational and strategic interests” and said it wants to remove France from NATO’s integrated command structure.
The far-right candidate continues to defend Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea. “Crimea was never attacked…there was a referendum in Crimea,” she said during today’s interview, describing the 2014 invasion of Crimea as “a radically different situation” than the current Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Her party, the National Party Congress – formerly the Front National – also has strong ties to Russia. Between 2014 and 2015 was the National Front receive 11 million euros in Russian funding, according to French investigative agency Mediapart.
Referring to another of the campaign’s controversies — an embezzlement investigation by the EU’s anti-fraud agency, OLAF — Le Pen replied: “I’m used to the EU’s dirty tricks.”
Le Pen and three former members of the European Parliament’s Front National – including her own father Jean-Marie Le Pen – face an investigation into alleged misuse of public EU funds, according to documents uncovered by MediaPart.
The four former MPs are said to have spent more than half a million euros on the activities of their own national party from 2004 to 2017 and not on their work as MEPs.
https://www.politico.eu/article/le-pen-vows-to-keep-russia-close-to-prevent-an-alliance-with-china/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication Le Pen vows to keep Russia close to prevent alliance with China - POLITICO