The presidential candidate from the National Association also said that after the end of the conflict in Ukraine, she would propose to the alliance “to carry out a strategic rapprochement with Russia.”

The candidate of the National Association, Marine Le Pen, said that if she wins the presidential election, she intends to withdraw France from the NATO joint military command.

“I want France to leave the NATO joint military command,” Le Pen said at a press conference in Paris on Wednesday. “I will never agree to our troops being subordinated to the NATO command or the European command,” she said. “France should return to the status in the alliance that it had from 1966 to 2009,” the French presidential candidate believes.

Le Pen said that, if elected, she intends to offer NATO a strategic rapprochement with Russia after the end of the conflict in Ukraine.

“When the hostilities are over, I will propose a strategic rapprochement between NATO and Russia,” Le Pen said. She added that the key principles of her foreign policy will be “independence, equidistance and constancy.”

She also noted that she sees similarities in her position with the line pursued by Emmanuel Macron as president in the field of relations with Russia. “Immediately after his election, he invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to Versailles. In 2019, the presidents met in Bregancon (the summer residence of the head of France),” Le Pen recalled.

Macron, she noted, stood for Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok. “This also corresponds to my position, because I also believe that it is necessary to bring Russia and Europe closer together,” the presidential candidate stressed.

Assistance to Ukraine

Le Pen, in case of victory in the second round, promised to continue to supply defensive weapons to Ukraine and to support it in intelligence matters.

“Yes, to the supply of defensive weapons, yes, to intelligence,” she said, answering a corresponding question to journalists. At the same time, she expressed doubts about the supply of offensive weapons, noting that it is necessary to avoid escalation of the conflict and its spread to other countries.

Reforming the EU

Le Pen said that if she is elected to the post of head of state, she will not withdraw the country from the EU, but is going to reform it from the inside.

“Frexit is not my project. I want to reform the EU from within,” she said. At the same time, Le Pen expressed disagreement with the dominance of the English language in the European Union. “I think it is necessary to strengthen the positions of the French and German languages,” the presidential candidate said.

Le Pen said that if she wins the presidential election, she intends to reduce Paris’ contributions to the EU by almost half – to €5 billion.

“I want to reduce France’s contributions to the EU,” Le Pen said. – I consider it necessary to reduce them to €5 billion, while now they amount to €8-9 billion on average.” At the same time, she stressed that if elected president of France, she plans to “transform the EU into an alliance of European nations” with greater sovereignty.

Development of military aircraft with Germany

Le Pen promised that if she is elected head of state, the country will withdraw from the program for the joint development of military aircraft with Germany and focus on updating the Rafale fighter fleet.

According to her, there are “unsolvable differences” over the joint program for the creation of military aircraft between France and Germany. She promised that if she is elected, “France will completely cease cooperation [on the creation of military aircraft] with Germany.”

Le Pen also promised to “upgrade the fleet of French Rafale fighters.”

A full-size mock-up of the 5th generation Next Generation Fighter (NGF), being developed as part of the international FCAS (Future Combat Air System) program, was officially presented for the first time at the 53rd Paris Aerospace Salon in Le Bourget (Paris Air Show 2019). It was assumed that the new combat aircraft would replace Typhoon and Rafale fighters, which are in service with the German and French Air Forces in the 2040s.

The first round of the presidential election was held in France on April 10. 12 candidates took part in the election race. After processing 100% of the ballots, the incumbent French President Emmanuel Macron received 27.84% of the votes, the candidate of the National Unification Party Marine Le Pen – 23.15%. Thus, in the second round, which will take place on April 24, the duel of the last election will be repeated, when the same politicians met in the final duel for the Elysee Palace.