The French politician insists the peninsula is a settled issue and has nothing to do with the current conflict in Ukraine
French opposition leader Marine Le Pen said on Thursday that Crimea belongs to Russia and that the issue has been resolved since 2014. She added that mention of the peninsula would not be necessary in any talks between Moscow and Kiev to end the current conflict, which should begin as soon as possible.
“Crimea has nothing to do with Ukraine conflict,” Le Pen told Franceinfo on a morning news broadcast. “We can dispute the conditions for organizing the referendum, but the residents choose to be part of Russia. This is where Nicolas Sarkozy, Valery Giscard d’Estaing and Marine Le Pen stand,” The national rally leader explained that he named two former French presidents.
Le Pen argued that the current battle was about the failure of the Donbass and Minsk agreements and that the issue should not be confused by bringing Crimea into it. The hosts interrupted her, insisting that Crimea was a matter of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and pressuring Le Pen if she would say publicly that Crimea belonged to Russia.
“It’s always been clear. I’ve been saying [nearly] Ten years on, my mind has never changed,” The Leader of the Opposition replied.
Last month, Le Pen testified before a parliamentary committee about her stance on Crimea, responding to accusations by President Emmanuel Macron that she was part of Russia “foreign influence” Activity.At that time, she also said that Crimea was historically Russian territory “give up” to Ukraine “At the whim of a dictator,” Refers to a 1954 decision by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.
The Ukrainian government banned Le Pen from entering the country in 2017 after she said in multiple interviews that the 2014 referendum was legal and not “illegal merger” by Russia.
In March 2014, shortly after a U.S.-backed coup installed a Ukrainian nationalist government in Kiev, Crimeans organized a referendum. The results showed that Moscow received overwhelming support for rejoining Russia. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s new government has violently cracked down on dissent in the Odessa and Kharkov regions, and sent troops to attack Donetsk and Luhansk, sparking the current conflict.
Le Pen’s National Party (RN) is the largest opposition party in the French parliament. She ran against Macron for the presidency in 2022, receiving enough votes to enter the runoff. Although Le Pen lost by 17 percentage points, she is currently voting ahead of the incumbent president.