16:33 GMT +309 December 2019
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    Leader of the French Far-right party the Front National (FN) Marine Le Pen delivers an address in Nanterre, suburban Paris on November 14, 2015, in response to the attacks in which at least 128 people were killed

    Le Pen Plans to Recognize Crimea as Part of Russia if She Becomes President

    © AFP 2019 / FRANCOIS GUILLOT
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    Leader of French right-wing party National Front Marine Le Pen told RIA Novosti that if she wins the presidential election in France, she will recognize Crimea as part of Russia.

    Thus, she confirmed her statement made in May in an interview with RT France, when she also said that Paris will recognize the legitimacy of the Crimean reunification if she is elected to run the country.

    "Given the historical realities, as well as the choice which was clearly expressed during the referendum on accession, I will recognize Crimea as part of Russian territory if elected," Le Pen said.

    Le Pen is well known for her support for Russia and criticism of anti-Russian sanctions.

    "European sanctions […] are not only contrary to the interests of France, but are also violation of centuries-old tradition of our country, which never followed the will of the others," Le Pen said, adding that relations between Russia and France are very important, especially in terms of resolution of international crises.

    Crimea seceded from Ukraine to rejoin Russia in March 2014 following a referendum in which over 96 percent of voters supported the move. The West labeled the vote an illegal "annexation." Moscow has stated that the referendum fully complied with international law.

    In February 2016, Marine Le Pen announced her decision to run for president in the 2017 election, the first round of which is scheduled for April 23. Experts believe that the main struggle in the elections will be between former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and former French Prime Minister Alain Juppe.

    Related:

    Crimea Urges EU to Consider Sanctions on Ukraine Over Alleged Terrorism Links
    EU Refuses to Recognize Russia's Parliamentary Elections in Crimea
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    anti-Russian sanctions, election, Marine Le Pen, Crimea, Russia, France
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