MOSCOW, March 24. /TASS/. The sanctions slapped on Russia by the European Union are an absurd diplomacy of threats and blackmail, leader of France’s National Front political party, Marine Le Pen, said on Friday at a meeting of Russia’s State Duma International Affairs Committee, which invited her to pay a visit to Moscow.
"As for the sanctions [imposed on Russia by the European Union] and my attitude towards them, you know that we have always opposed the sanctions. I believe they are unfair and silly, to say the least," she stressed. However, this made it possible to reveal the opposition, which is countering this phenomenon in the EU, Le Pen added.
"We reject the diplomacy of threats, the diplomacy of sanctions, the diplomacy of blackmail that the European Union has been using increasingly often, not only against Russia, but also against its own members," the French politician noted.
The leader of France’s National Front party hopes that France will eventually cancel the blacklists of Russian citizens on its territory.
"I have always pressed for the abolition of sanctions, which I regard as counter-productive," she said at a meeting with State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin.
"I do hope that France will be able to achieve a solution when we will be able to cancel the blacklists at least on the territory of our country."
"I believe that the ban preventing members of parliaments from meeting each other and working together is a violation of democratic rights and freedoms," Le Pen said, adding that the blacklists of Russian citizens still remained in effect largely under pressure from Brussels.
Stance on Ukraine
Marine Le Pen has said that her stance on the conflict in Ukraine remains identical to Russia’s:
"As far as the situation in Ukraine is concerned, I have been one of the few politicians in France who have pressed for their own viewpoint on Ukraine, identical to Russia’s."
"In my statements I invariably pointed to the role of the EU in the growth and expansion of this conflict."
Le Pen drew attention to the fact that some of her French colleagues who had expressed agreement with her during the election campaign eventually changed their opinion for time-serving considerations.
"My stance has remained unchanged ever since the conflict began," Le Pen said.
Earlier, the leader of France’s National Front party said that Ukraine was a scene of civil war and that there were no Russian troops on its territory.
"In Ukraine these days we see a government that rose to power illegally as a result of the ‘maidan revolution’ and is now bombarding the civilian population of Donetsk and Lugansk. This is a war crime and it should have drawn the strongest protests from all those human rights activists whom we hear make utterly different statements in the French mass media," Le Pen said.
The French leadership, she believes, "prefers to turn an attentive ear to its US patrons whose interests it serves."
"The United States is pursuing the aim of triggering a real war in Europe by arming Ukraine. It wishes to expand NATO’s zone to the Russian border. The US has for many years worked to tighten its grip on Eastern Europe. The US is pressing for Ukraine’s Nato membership and the current Ukrainian government has the same aim," Le Pen said.