PARIS, October 18. /TASS/. Establishing close relations with Russia is in France’s interests, said Jean-Luc Melenchon, one of the leaders of the French Left party and a member of the European parliament, who has recently entered the 2017 presidential race.
"I am often accused of being a supporter of Russia but in fact I protect the interests of France, and it is in France’s interests to ensure that Russia is its partner. Russia is not an adversary, but a partner for France," Melenchon said in an interview with the French television channel, BFMTV.
"I am against confrontation with Russia and against sanctions on Russia, as well," the politician stressed.
He pointed out that "soon after being elected President of France, Francois Hollande took part in the NATO summit in Chicago. And France accepted the proposal to set up a system allegedly aimed at combating potential Iranian missile strikes, near the Russian border. But these allegations are just absurd: since when is a missile defense system aimed against Iran established in Poland? That means these missiles are targeted against Russia, this is a clear provocation," Melenchon explained.
"How would France have responded if Russia had deployed its missiles and counter-missiles somewhere in the Czech Republic? In this case, France would have considered that Russia was taking unfriendly steps towards it," he added. "The deployment of the missile defense system close to the Russian borders is an absurd activity contrary to France’s interests," Melenchon stressed.
Commenting on the numerous anti-Russian statements circulating in the French media regarding the armed conflict in Syria, Melenchon noted that "the Syrian conflict should not be used to divide countries into good and bad ones." "This explains the saying that the truth is the first thing to suffer in armed conflicts. The Western media’s coverage of the conflicts in Syria and Iraq is nothing more than propaganda," Melenchon concluded.