French presidential contender weighs in on Russian sanctions
French presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen, in an interview on Tuesday, raised her voice against imposing sanctions on Russia’s energy exports since, she believes, the French will have to pay dearly for those restrictions. Le Pen noted that she is not against anti-Russian sanctions in other sectors of the economy.
“I stand against sanctions concerning energy because I do not want the French to bear the full brunt of the consequences of such a decision aimed at cutting gas or oil imports. I know what those consequences will be,” the leader of the National Rally told France Inter radio. “I am here to protect the interests of the French people.”
Le Pen’s remark came after one of the radio listeners had accused her of being “Putin’s Trojan horse” for her stance on Russia. “I am no one’s Trojan horse,” rebutted the presidential candidate. She argued that she is in favor other anti-Russian sanctions that do not concern the energy sector.
Since Russia attacked Ukraine in late February, the US and its European allies have responded with unprecedented sanctions targeting Russia's banking and energy sectors. Washington and London have imposed a ban on Russian oil and gas imports. Since then, energy prices in those countries have skyrocketed accelerating the ever-growing inflation.
The first tour of the French presidential election took place on Sunday. 73 % of registered voters showed up to cast their ballots. The incumbent French President Emmanuel Macron got the most votes, with nearly 28 % of the country supporting him. Marine Le Pen rated second, with slightly over 23%. The third place went to left-wing party leader Jean-Luc Melenchon, with almost 22%. Thus, Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen have qualified for the second tour of the presidential election, which will take place on April 24.