Le Pen vows to block French troops in Ukraine, weapons against Russia

The right-wing party National Rally will also prohibit Kiev from using French weaponry on Russian soil

Marine Le Pen, the former long-time leader of France’s right-wing National Rally (RN) party, has said that her party would block any potential deployment of French troops to Ukraine and prevent Kiev from using French-supplied weaponry to strike Russian soil if it wins the parliamentary elections and secures the office of prime minister.

Le Pen made these comments in an interview with CNN on Thursday, ahead of the second round of voting scheduled for Sunday. She suggested that the prime minister has the final say on the potential deployment of French troops to Ukraine, and the stance of President Emmanuel Macron does not actually matter in such cases. Over the past few months, Macron has repeatedly considered the idea, using increasingly aggressive language about the Ukrainian conflict.

“If Emmanuel Macron wants to send troops to Ukraine and the prime minister is against it, then there are no troops sent to Ukraine. The prime minister has the final say,” Le Pen stated.

Le Pen also said that her party in power would prevent Kiev from using French-supplied weapons to carry out strikes on Russian territory, arguing that allowing this would make Paris “co-belligerent” in the conflict.

National Rally’s stance is sharply different from that of most Western leaders, who have allowed their weaponry to be used for such strikes, repeatedly claiming that this has not made their countries a party to the hostilities. Moscow has repeatedly warned the collective West against supplying increasingly sophisticated weapons to Kiev, stating that Ukraine’s backers have long been involved in the hostilities, which it sees as a “proxy war” on Russia.

Le Pen’s rhetoric seemed rather restrained, given fears that her party could take drastic measures, including ceasing all support for Ukraine or even withdrawing France from the US-led NATO bloc altogether. Such concerns have been growing in the EU lately, Euractiv has reported, citing several anonymous diplomats.

The RN party came out on top in the first round of France’s snap election, securing 33% of the vote. Macron called the election after his party suffered a crushing defeat to the RN in the European Parliament elections last month.

Macron’s centrist Ensemble bloc also performed poorly in the first round of domestic polls, coming in only third, with 20%, while the second place was taken by a left-wing coalition hastily assembled ahead of the polls. In the second round, the RN is projected to win up to 280 seats of the 577-seat National Assembly.