Le Pen fears French sanctions could ‘throw Russian into the arms of China’

Marine Le Pen 'serious alternative' to Macron says Jacobelli

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The leader of the National Rally told French President Emmanuel Macron during their Presidential debate that the unity of Russia and China could prove a “huge risk” to the West. While heralding the importance of supporting Ukraine financially and with weaponry, as well as some of the current sanctions, she urged that France should not act hastily and end up “solving problems today that will hurt our future”. 

She said: “I do have one long-standing fear. A long-standing fear of our country but also of other major powers across the world. 

“I am concerned that this will throw Russia into the arms of China, that they will become such strong allies in the future that they will turn into a superpower both economically, monetarily, maybe even militarily. 

“This could be a huge risk for the West, for Europe, and for France. Those are my caveats. 

“I believe we live in a complex world and under the circumstances, we need to look to the future both in the medium and long term so that we don’t solve problems today in ways that will hurt our future.” 

While the EU remains the biggest trading partner with Russia, China remains one of the most prolific purchasers of Russian energy supplies. 

And just a week before the invasion of Ukraine, the two nations agreed on a new coal deal worth more than $20billion. 

Putin also announced a new Russian oil and gas deal with China worth almost $118 billion, with a new gas pipeline called the Power of Siberia 2 to be built under a 30-year contract worth more than $400 billion. 

As European countries such as France look to potentially reduce their reliance on Russian supplies, Ms Le Pen has voiced concern that China and Russia will be pushed further together. 

President Xi Jinping of China is a well-known ally of Vladimir Putin, and fears have been raised that he could use the invasion of Ukraine to initiate his own military offensives. 

Australia advanced a long-range missile programme at the start of April after China drafted a defence agreement with the Solomon Islands to harbour warships. 

Australian foreign minister Peter Dutton said that the nation was now working under the assumption that Chinese aggression towards Taiwan had accelerated by decades. 

The long-range missiles utilised by Australia were afforded by the United States and the United Kingdom. 

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Ms Le Pen has previously said that she supports the sanctions imposed on Russia but stops short of backing oil and gas sanctions. 

She said last week that she was “perfectly in favour of all the other sanctions” but that she did “not want French people to suffer the consequences of sanctions” on oil and gas. 

Nearly 20 percent of French natural gas imports come from Russia, while roughly 7 percent of the country’s oil is also imported from Russia. 

France has come under increasing international scrutiny regarding their purchasing of Russian energy supplies. 

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