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Le Pen says Putin’s visit to Austria sign of Europe’s liberation

June 06, 2018, 12:14 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Putin paid a one-day visit to Austria on June 5

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Leader of France’s National Rally party, Marine Le Pen

Leader of France’s National Rally party, Marine Le Pen

© AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani

MOSCOW, June 6. /TASS/. The leader of France’s National Rally party (former National Front), Marine Le Pen, says she sees signs of what in her opinion is the beginning of Europe’s liberation, citing as an example the soaring popularity of right-of-center forces in several European countries and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s meeting with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz during his visit to Vienna.

"The meeting of Kurz, [Heinz-Christian] Strache (vice-chancellor, minister for civil service and sport) and Putin and rapprochement between [Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo] Salvini and [Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor] Orban: the liberation of Europe begins now," Le Pen tweeted on Wednesday.

Earlier, she appeared on the air of the France Culture radio station to express the same opinion, without mentioning any personalities, though.

"The world today is making a choice different from that made over the past 30 years. It is going to be a genuine peaceful and democratic revolution, a turn away from savage globalization, universal free exchange and immigration. It will be a turn towards protection," she stated. "Italy, Hungary, Austria - we are witnesses to the beginning of the liberation of Europe!" In her opinion, in Europe there should be no place for supra-national entities whose decisions would outweigh those made by national governments.

Putin paid a one-day visit to Austria on June 5. It was his first foreign trip following the presidential inauguration ceremony on May 7. The visit was timed for the 50th anniversary of the beginning of Soviet gas export to Austria, which in 1968 was the first country in Western Europe to have concluded a gas contract with the Soviet Union. Putin held talks with Austria’s Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen and Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, laid a wreath at the monument to the Soviet liberator soldier in Schwarzenbergplatz, visited a forum of the Russian-Austrian business council at Austria’s Chamber of the Economy and opened an exhibition of paintings from the Hermitage Museum at Vienna’s Art History Museum.

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