Le Pen wants rapprochement between NATO and Russia

France’s far-right* leader Marine Le Pen backed closer ties between NATO and Russia, pledging if she won the presidency Paris would again leave the military command of the American-led alliance.

Read Le Pen narrows Emmanuel Macron lead

*While Le Pen may hold more conservative views than her other major political competitors in France, she is hardly the paragon of true conservative values. And even if she were, Reuters label of “far-right” is just not accurate and is misleading. — Editor

Le Pen, who on April 24 faces President Emmanuel Macron in a runoff vote, said there should be a “strategic rapprochement” between NATO and Russia once the war launched by Moscow against Ukraine ended.

“We must ask about the role of the alliance after the end of the Warsaw Pact,” the Moscow-led military alliance that grouped Soviet bloc nations, she told journalists.

A Le Pen victory would reverberate through Europe and across the Atlantic, installing a deep eurosceptic in the Elysee Palace who has long professed admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Le Pen has drawn criticism in the past for a shaky grasp of geopolitics, once asserting that Russia had not invaded Crimea in 2014.

The news conference, designed to present Le Pen as a credible figure on the global stage, was briefly interrupted by a protester brandishing a heart-shaped picture of Le Pen and Putin, who was quickly dragged away by security guards.

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Le Pen: Strategic rapprochement

Le Pen told international and French media she wanted to clear up “misunderstandings” about her foreign policy.

“France is not a middle nation but a big power that counts,” she said, launching a 30-minute monologue on France’s historical achievements before outlining differences with what she called the “chatty, sketchy and ill-informed” diplomacy of pro-European centrist Macron.

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She said she had been misjudged in her previous expressions of esteem for Putin, saying she had only been defending French interests in her warm contacts with the Kremlin leader, including calls for an alliance with Moscow.

France’s Le Pen backs ‘rapprochement’ between NATO and Russia  Al Jazeera English

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