Marine Le Pen proposes closer ties between NATO and Russia after the war in Ukraine | French presidential election 2022
Far-right French candidate Marine Le Pen has said that once the Russian-Ukrainian war is over, she will propose closer NATO-Russia ties and remove France from military command of the US-led alliance. United States.
“As soon as the Russian-Ukrainian war is over and settled by a peace treaty, I will call for the establishment of a strategic rapprochement between NATO and Russia,” she said during a meeting. press conference.
Le Pen, who votes 45% to 55% for Emmanuel Macron in the April 24 presidential run-off, called the foreign policy press conference to try to distract from his previous close relationship with Vladimir Putin. , which led to Macron’s claims that she was “complacent” and “financially dependent” on the Kremlin.
Le Pen said any talk that she would betray French interests or be beholden to Putin was “inaccurate and particularly unfair”.
As she spoke, a protester stood up holding a heart-shaped picture of Le Pen and Putin shaking hands in the Kremlin in 2017. The protester was tackled to the ground by security guards and dragged onto the floor.
In 2014, Le Pen’s party – then called National Front, and since renamed National Rally – borrowed 9 million euros from a Russian-Czech bank for local election campaigns. He always repays the loan.
Five years ago, when Le Pen also faced Macron in the 2017 runoff, which she lost heavily, Putin welcomed her to the Kremlin, posing for a handshake.
At the time, Le Pen declared with admiration that she shared the same values as Putin and that a “new world order” was taking shape with Putin, Donald Trump and her at the helm.
She has changed course vis-à-vis Russia since the beginning of the war, condemning the invasion of Ukraine and asserting that she is independent of any foreign nation, and she has tried to attract attention on the domestic price of sanctions, inflation, energy costs and the cost of living crisis.
During the press conference, she said: “I have only ever defended the interests of France.” She said his approach was very similar to that of Macron, as he had established a personal relationship with Putin and continued the dialogue with him, inviting him to the Palace of Versailles and his summer residence on the Mediterranean.
Le Pen said better relations with Russia would prevent Moscow from becoming too close to China, noting that she echoed an argument made by Macron in the past.
On defence, Le Pen said: “I would place our troops neither under an integrated NATO command nor under a future European command”, adding that she would refuse any “submission to an American protectorate”.
In the final weeks ahead of what is expected to be a close vote, pro-Europe Macron has bullied Le Pen on foreign policy grounds, attacking him for his nationalism and his friendships with right-wing leaders. He told a rally in Strasbourg this week that “nationalism is war”.
Le Pen changed her policy on Europe from five years ago when she pushed for France to leave the EU and the euro. But Macron said his proposed treaty changes, rollback of rules and reductions in budget contributions would mean France would be kicked out of the EU.
“She wants to leave but she doesn’t dare say so,” Macron said, accusing his opponent of wanting to forge a special alliance with the right in Hungary and Poland. Le Pen took out a loan from a Hungarian bank for the campaign and told the press conference that French banks had refused to lend him.
Le Pen said she did not want “Frexit” but a softer version of the EU. “No one is against Europe,” she said. “I would not stop paying France’s contribution to the EU, I want to reduce it.”
But she said Britain’s Brexit had been a big success. She said France’s “ruling political class” was wrong after predicting a “cataclysm for the English”.
She said: “The British have gotten rid of Brussels bureaucracy, which they could never bear, to move on to an ambitious project of global Britain.” But she added: “It is not our project. We want to reform the EU from within.
Le Pen insisted she wanted to keep a close relationship with Germany, but then launched a scathing attack on their strategic differences, which she said would mean ending a series of joint Franco-French military programs. Germans.
She said she would pursue “reconciliation” with Germany, “without following the Macron-Merkel model of French blindness to Berlin.”