- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Situation in Ukraine
On 24 February, Russia launched a special military operation amid Kiev's ongoing shelling of the DPR and LPR. President Vladimir Putin stated that the op is meant to protect the people of Donbass, and its goal is the complete demilitarisation and denazification of Ukraine.

Marine Le Pen Says Western Arms Supplies to Ukraine Verge on Participation in Conflict

© AFP 2022 / FREDERICK FLORINA picture taken on March 8, 2022 shows European Union's and Ukrainian flags fluttering outside the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France.
A picture taken on March 8, 2022 shows European Union's and Ukrainian flags fluttering outside the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France. - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.03.2022
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Among the countries that have decided to supply Ukraine with weapons amid Russia’s ongoing special military operation are the US, Canada, Germany, Sweden, and other EU nations, along with the United Kingdom.
French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said that arms supplies to Kiev by the West verge on participation in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
Speaking to BFM TV, Le Pen said that a war with Russia would be of "high intensity", and she would not want France to take part in such a war.
"The best way to help Ukrainians is to achieve peace", Le Pen stressed.
She also weighed in on the anti-Russian sanctions that Western countries have slapped on Moscow, saying that she opposes restrictions that would make the French people "the first victims". Particularly, Le Pen commented on suggestions to ban Russian energy products.

"An embargo on Russian gas and oil would have cataclysmic consequences for the French. I don't want to sacrifice the French, their purchasing power, their jobs, the French economy", Le Pen said.

The presidential candidate also criticised the incumbent head of state, Emmanuel Macron, who has maintained contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin as the crisis in Ukraine continues to unfold. According to Le Pen, Macron is attempting to use the situation in order to "scare" the French people.
Le Pen is one of Macron's most serious rivals in the ongoing presidential race in France. The two rounds of the election are set to take place on 10 and 24 April, and polls suggest that Le Pen is second after the incumbent president, who is seeking another term.
Macron recently said that while he remains "optimistic" about his frequent talks with the Russian president, he also tries to be a realist.

"I don't think that in the days and weeks to come there will be a true negotiated solution", Macron said earlier in the week.

Le Pen, for her part, has urged European countries to resort to diplomacy to resolve the Ukrainian conflict, and not add "weapons to the war".
Paris has sent defence equipment and fuel to Ukraine, alongside other nations, among them Germany (1,000 anti-tank rocket launchers, 500 Stinger surface-to-air missiles, nine Howitzers, 14 armoured vehicles, and 10,000 tonnes of fuel), Norway (2,000 M72 anti-tank grenade launchers), and many other European countries. The Czech Republic on Sunday pledged that Kiev would receive "a range of military materials worth 725 million korunas (around $31 million)".
The United States also continues to send weapons to Ukraine. Russia has condemned the arms supplies to Kiev, warning Washington of the consequences of doing so - particularly, Moscow warned the US that all these weapons would become legitimate targets of Russian troops.
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