Originally posted March 27, 2017.
France’s Marine Le Pen, leader of the nationalist Front National Party, met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in what looked like a tacit endorsement of Le Pen’s candidacy by the Russian leader.
Today media polling has Le Pen in much the same position Donald Trump was in ahead of the election in the U.S. Polls have Le Pen tied with independent centrist Emmanuel Macron in first round voting, but show Macron leading in the second round vote.
But the anti-immigration, Euro-skeptic fervor on the streets in France favors a big turnout for Le Pen voters who are tired of playing nice with Brussels’ mandates and suffering from radical Islamic terrorist attacks in their cities.
The Editors of the Journal believe if Le Pen is elected, Putin will have an “overt fifth columnist in the heart of NATO.” They write:
The French National Front leader was looking for at least a de facto Kremlin endorsement a month from the first round of voting, and she received it with news footage that showed the Russian strongman smiling next to her.
“We do not want to influence events in any way,” Mr. Putin said, and how would anyone get that idea? Pro-Kremlin news sites merely published reports that the Kremlin had pledged to “help” Ms. Le Pen’s cash-strapped campaign before correcting the stories and deleting the tweets. In 2014 the National Front received a $10 million loan from a Kremlin-linked bank.
Ms. Le Pen returned the public admiration, saying Mr. Putin represents a “new vision” of conservative nationalism and sovereignty along with Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. That’s an insult to Messrs. Trump and Modi, who have won fair elections. She also called on Paris and Moscow to join forces to combat “globalization and Islamic fundamentalism.”
Ms. Le Pen made clear that she’d pursue a policy of appeasement toward Russian aggression against the countries that live in Moscow’s shadow. Sovereignty is sacred to her—unless you’re Georgian or Ukrainian. “I was one of the few politicians in France who were defending their own point of view on Ukraine that coincided with that of Russia,” she said at the Russian Parliament.
Read more here.