News   /   France

Le Pen outlines foreign policy vision, seeks rapprochement between NATO, Russia

This picture taken on April 6, 2022 in Marseille, shows folded electoral leaflets of rival candidates Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen in the French presidential race. (Photo by AFP)

French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has said she would pull France out of NATO's military command and push for closer links between the military alliance and Russia once the war in Ukraine is over.

Le Pen in a press conference on Wednesday said that once the Ukraine war is over, “I will call for the implementation of a strategic rapprochement between NATO and Russia.”

Le Pen, who on April 24 faces President Emmanuel Macron in a run-off, called the press conference on foreign policy to try to take the spotlight off her previous close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.  She said any talk of her betraying French interests or being indebted to Putin was “inaccurate and particularly unjust.”

The presidential candidate said she broadly supports sanctions against Russia, except when it comes to oil and gas supplies. She also emphasized that better ties with Russia would also prevent Moscow from aligning too closely with China, noting that she was echoing an argument made by Macron in the past.

“This is in the interest of France and Europe but also I think the United States ... which has no interest in seeing a close Sino-Russian relationship emerging,” Le Pen said.

She reaffirmed that, if elected president, she would remove France from NATO’s US-led integrated command structure to restore French sovereignty over international security.

“I would place our troops neither under an integrated NATO command nor under a future European command,” she said, adding that she refused “subjection” to Washington.

While supporting the Franco-German friendship, Le Pen warned that “strategic differences” would mean a new way of working with Berlin which would mean putting an end to joint military programs between the two countries. “I would continue… reconciliation without following the Macron-Merkel model of French blindness towards Berlin,” she said.

On Europe, Le Pen made clear that any departure from the European Union is not on her agenda. “No one is against Europe. We want to reform the European Union from within. The more we free ourselves from the straitjacket of Brussels while staying in the EU, the more we will look to the rest of the world,” she said.

Macron believes that Le Pen’s proposed changes to treaties, dismantling of rules and cuts to budget contributions would eventually lead to France’s exit from the EU, and categorizes her manifesto as full of lies and false promises that conceal a far-right agenda.

A Le Pen victory would however be seen as a victory for right-wing populism and send shock-waves across Europe and markets. Her presidential campaign has been based on the goal of shifting economic power and advantage away from the rich and the elite toward ordinary people. But while her economic program is indeed interventionist and left wing, her other policies are deemed extreme and nationalist.

The 2022 presidential election in France is unlike any of the previous ones, mainly due to the events that have taken place on the political and social arena in recent years such as an economic crisis, the COVID pandemic, the Ukraine conflict and the increasing pressure on minorities, such as Muslims and immigrants.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku