07:16 GMT13 May 2021
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    French The Republicans’ presidential hopeful Francois Fillon said that people have a fundamental right to decide on their own future.

    PARIS (Sputnik) — People have a fundamental right to decide on their own future, French The Republicans’ presidential hopeful Francois Fillon said when discussing Russia’s reunification with Crimea, and recalled the case of Kosovo.

    “We have changed borders ourselves. Kosovo, for example. There is a fundamental principle of the right of people to decide for themselves. There are borders that have been established in a way, unacceptable for people,” Fillon said during the pre-election debate, broadcast by TF1 on Monday.

    Five presidential hopefuls, including Fillon, far-right National Front party leader Marine Le Pen, independent candidate and leader of the “En Marche!” movement Emmanuel Macron, the Socialist leader Benoit Hamon and the leader of the left-wing political movement La France Insoumise (Unsubmissive France), Jean-Luc Melenchon, took part in the first of three televised debates leading up to the first round of the presidential election on April 23.

    The second round of the election is set for May 7.

    Kosovo unilaterally proclaimed independence from Serbia in 2008 and is recognized by over 100 UN member states. Serbia does not recognize Kosovo’s independence.

    Crimea rejoined Russia in 2014 after the referendum held on March 16, with almost 97 percent of the residents having voted for the reunification.


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