LONDON — The leader of France’s far-right Front National party, Marine Le Pen, said that she would increase trade links with Russia if she won this year’s election.
Le Pen said: “Russia is not a threat to France — why should I be hostile to Russia?,” according to a report in The Telegraph citing an interview organised by LBC.
She added that Russia could become a trading partner “on a par with the US.”
Le Pen also said that the judgment of British Prime Minister Theresa May “is not very good,” after May met with Le Pen’s rival Emmanuel Macron in February.
“I find it difficult to understand the consistency of the ideas and convictions in this approach of hers,” Le Pen said in the interview, which was conducted by former UKIP leader Nigel Farage.
She said that the future of British nationals living in France will be unchanged after the UK leaves the European Union, despite May’s plan to reject free movement of people and take Britain out of the European Single Market.
“After Brexit, nothing will happen to French citizens living in Great Britain and nothing will happen to British citizens living in homes in France,” Le Pen said. “I see no reason why we should not continue to welcome them in the French style.”
Le Pen’s policies include a referendum on EU membership and abandoning the euro, yet only 22% of French voters agree with her idea of leaving the Eurozone. Even among her supporters, only 64% are in favour of the idea.
Polls currently show Le Pen narrowly beating independent Emmanuel Macron in the first round of the elections, but ultimately losing out to either Macron or embattled conservative candidate François Fillon. The first round of voting will take place in April, while the second will take place in May.
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