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"Putin's friend" Le Pen criticises Russia's war against Ukraine

Thursday, 14 March 2024, 10:00
Putin's friend Le Pen criticises Russia's war against Ukraine
Marine Le Pen. Stock photo: Getty Images

Marine Le Pen, former leader of the French right-wing populist party Rassemblement National (National Rally  ‒ RN), who had a long-standing reputation as a "friend of Putin", has unexpectedly slammed Russia for the war in Ukraine during debates in the French parliament regarding support for Ukraine.

Source: European Pravda, citing BFMTV

From the podium of the National Assembly, Le Pen stated that by launching a full-scale attack on Ukraine on 24 February 2022, Russia "triggered a war on the EU’s doorstep and a geopolitical crisis that is without doubt the most dramatic of the last 20 years," and reminded the audience of the thousands of dead and injured, as well as millions of people who were forced to flee their cities and villages.

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Quote: "We owe our respect and support to the Ukrainian nation, which has endured aggression... It is the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people that will lead to Russia's defeat," declared Le Pen.

She outlined that France provides support to Ukraine in the form of asylum for Ukrainians who have fled abroad due to the war and in the form of material assistance, including weapons, and France "has no reason to blush" about the support provided.

At the same time, Le Pen criticised President Emmanuel Macron's statement that he does not rule out the potential presence of Western allies' troops on Ukrainian territory in the future.

"By causing a wave of objections from many capitals regarding the sending of troops, Macron has ultimately and unfortunately reassured Vladimir Putin," stated Marine Le Pen, adding that "the best strategic ambiguity is silence."

She also accused Macron of "instrumentalising" the war in Ukraine for his electoral purposes.

"Either you’re pro-Macron, or you’re accused of being pro-Putin," she said.

Background:

  • Le Pen's party abstained during the National Assembly vote on 12 March. Prior to the debates, the current leader of the RN party, Jordan Bardella, stated that they are generally in favour of supporting Ukraine, but there are certain "red lines."
  • 372 MPs of the lower house of the French parliament voted in favour of supporting the bilateral agreement on security cooperation between France and Ukraine, while 99 voted against. The vote is not binding.

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