Le Pen says she will remove France from NATO command

PARIS (TASS): National Rally candidate Marine Le Pen has said that if she wins the presidential election, she intends to withdraw France from NATO’s unified military command.
“I want France to leave NATO’s unified military command,” Le Pen said at a press conference in Paris on Wednesday. “I will never agree that our troops are subordinate to the NATO command or the European command,” she said. “France should return to the status in the alliance that it had from 1966 to 2009,” the French presidential candidate said.
Le Pen said that if she is elected, she intends to offer NATO a strategic rapproch-ement with Russia after the end of the conflict in Ukraine.
“When hostilities are over, I will propose a strategic rapprochement between NATO and Russia,” Le Pen said. She added that the key principles of her foreign policy will be “independence, equidistance and constancy.”
She also noted that she sees the similarity of her position with the line pursued by Emmanuel Macron as president in the field of relations with Russia. “Immediately after his election, he invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to Versailles. In 2019, the pre-sidents met in Bregançon (the summer residence of the head of France – TASS note),” Le Pen recalled.
Macron, she noted, spoke for Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok. “This also corresponds to my position, since I also believe that it is necessary to bring Russia and Europe closer,” the presidential candidate stressed.
Le Pen, in the event of a victory in the second round, promised to continue to supply defensive weapons to Ukraine and support it in intelligence matters.
“Yes – to the supply of defensive weapons, yes – to intelligence,” she said, answering a corresponding question from journalists. At the same time, she expressed doubts about the supply of offensive weapons, noting that it is necessary to avoid the escalation of the conflict and its spread to other countries.
Le Pen said that if she is elected as head of state, she will not withdraw the country from the EU, but is going to reform it from within.
“Frexit is not my project. I want to reform the EU from within,” she said. At the same time, Le Pen expressed her disagreement with the dominance of the English language in the European Union. “I believe that it is necessary to strengthen the position of the French and German languages,” the presidential candidate said.
Le Pen said that if she wins the presidential election, she intends to reduce Paris’ contributions to the EU by almost half – to € 5 billion.
“I want to reduce French contributions to the EU,” Le Pen said. “I think it’s necessary to cut them down to €5 billion, while now they are €8-9 billion on average.” At the same time, she stressed that if she is elected president of France, she plans to “transform the EU into an alliance of European nations” with greater sovereignty.
Le Pen promised that if she is elected head of state, the country will withdraw from the program for the joint development of military aircraft with Germany and focus on updating the fleet of Rafale fighters.
According to her, there are “irresolvable differences” over a joint military aircraft program between France and Germany. She promised that if she was elected “France will completely stop cooperation [on the creation of military aircraft] with Germany.”
Le Pen also promised to “renew the fleet of French Rafale fighters.”
A full-size layout of the 5th generation European fighter Next Generation Fi-ghter (NGF), developed un-der the international FCAS (Future Combat Air Syste-m) program, was first officially presented at the 53rd Paris Air Show in Le Bo-urget (Paris Air Show 201-9). ). It was assumed that the new combat aircraft w-ould replace the Typhoon and Rafale fighters in service with the German and F-rench air forces in the 2040s.
The first round of presidential elections took place in France on 10 April. 12 candidates took part in the election race. After processing 100% of the ballots, the incumbent French President Macron received 27.84% of the vote, the National Rally candidate Marine Le Pen – 23.15%. Thus, in the second round, which will take place on April 24, the duel of the previous elections will be repeated, when the same politicians met in the final duel for the Elysee Palace.