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France’s Le Pen Urges Closer Ties Between NATO & Russia Once War Is Over

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen – who is now in a close second behind President Macron following Sunday's first round vote and ahead of the next round April 24 presidential election, and who is often dubbed "far-right nationalist" in establishment media – said Wednesday that she plans to propose closer links between NATO and Russia once the Ukraine war concludes

She said she would back a "a strategic rapprochement between NATO and Russia" which would come "as soon as the Russian-Ukrainian war is over and has been settled by a peace treaty."

She also referenced increasing China-Russia relations as both countries find themselves under Washington pressure and the target of sanctions and attempts at ratcheting diplomatic isolation.

"It is in the interest of France and Europe, but also, I believe, of the United States, which has… no interest in seeing the emergence of a close Sino-Russian union," she said at a press conference presentation of her key foreign policy positions in Paris.  

And according to Reuters, "She also said that she does not want France to leave the European Union and added that she would respect the Paris agreement on climate change if she were elected president."

Le Monde further quoted her as saying the following on the question of France's role in NATO:

As for France's place in NATO, "in the event of my election, I would like to dispel any misunderstanding" , she began. “I simply want to reconnect with the policy that was ours from 1966 to 2009, which in no way implied submission to Moscow.” 

Without doubt, and despite her above clarification of simply wanting a return to France's prior policy based on avoiding confrontation with superpower Russia at all costs, she will still be branded by opponents as a "Russia apologist".

Macron himself has seized on this talking point, despite him being the only European leader to hold direct phone calls with Putin on an almost weekly basis throughout the war, in order to find room for de-escalation and diplomacy in Ukraine. 

A recent Politico hit piece called out Le Pen as a supposed "Putin sympathizer" – as but one example of this kind of commentary among many… "A possible victory by Le Pen, a Putin sympathizer, could destabilize the Western coalition against Moscow, upending France’s role as a leading European power and potentially giving other NATO leaders cold feet about staying in the alliance, according to three senior administration officials not authorized to publicly discuss private conversations."

And already, US officials are anonymously dropping hints of election 'interference' by Russia (of course such allegations will be triggered only in the event Le Pen pulls off a win): "Senior U.S. officials have warily watched across the Atlantic for any signs of possible Russian interference in the first round of the elections, which will take place Sunday. Polls suggest that Macron and Le Pen would likely then advance to a showdown on April 24 — and that the potential two-person race would be close," Politico wrote ahead of last Sunday's vote.


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