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    A woman walks near election campaign posters for French centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, left, and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, in Saint Jean Pied de Port, southwestern France, Friday May 5, 2017

    Macron, Le Pen: What to Expect From French Presidential Election

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    2017 French Presidential Election: Round 2 (36)
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    France’s future in the EU, the euro, relations with Russia and the US, the war on terror, the migrant crisis – these are the main issues French voters will have in mind when they cast their ballots Sunday for the presidential candidates Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Marcon.

    Sputnik has outlined the two presidential hopefuls’ views on key foreign policy issues.

    Russia and the US

    Marine Le Pen has repeatedly underscored her desire to mend fences with Russia so that Europe has a peaceful future ahead. She lashed out at the Western sanctions against Russia as “stupid” and recognizes Crimea as part of the Russian Federation.

    She believes that France should maintain equally good relations with both the US and Russia, that it has no reasons for waging a cold war with Moscow and needs closer diplomatic, trade and strategic relations with Russia, which she calls “a great country.”

    Emmanuel Macron also wants to rebuild relations with Russia and engage into intense and frank dialogue, even though Paris' vision does not totally correspond with that of Moscow.

    Unions and alliances

    France’s possible exit from the European Union was the centerpiece of Le Pen’s agenda ahead of the first round vote in April. She has since softened her anti-EU rhetoric a bit and now says she wants to supplant the EU with a “European alliance of free and sovereign states.”

    Marine Le Pen said her first order of business on setting foot in the Elysee Palace will be to propose negotiations to radically overhaul what she described as “a totalitarian union,” and announce referendums on EU membership and on withdrawing from the European Union.

    She also pledged to bring back the franc in everyday payments, while keeping the euro in corporate and foreign transactions – a move Emmanuel Macron criticized as unviable.

    Le Pen also wants to restore national borders and to pull the country out of the Schengen area and NATO military command.

    Emmanuel Macron, for his part, is an ardent advocate of European integration and prioritizes protection of the EU and its citizens, especially now that Britain is on the way out.

    That said, even he now believes that the EU should reform or face the prospect of seeing France moving out too.

    Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron took the first place in the first round of the French presidential election held on April 23, gaining 24.1 percent of votes. His main rival, far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen, came in second with 21.3 percent.

    Macron is projected to win in Sunday’s runoff vote with an IPSOS/Sopra Streia poll seeing him garnering 61.5 percent of votes compared to just 38.5 percent for Marine Le Pen.

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    Topic:
    2017 French Presidential Election: Round 2 (36)

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    'New France': What Kind of Country Emmanuel Macron Seeks to Build
    Tags:
    European Union, presidential runoff, different agendas, expectations, elections, sanctions, En Marche, NATO, French National Front Party, Emmanuel Macron, Marine Le Pen, France
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