France’s far-right Bardella says he backs Ukraine but wouldn’t send missiles that could hit Russia

French far-right leader Jordan Bardella said on Wednesday that he backed Ukraine's right to defend itself against Russia, but if elected prime minister he would not provide Kyiv with missiles that would allow it to strike Russia's territory.

He also said he would stand by France's commitments to the NATO military alliance if he became prime minister.

Bardella's National Rally (RN) party leads opinion polls ahead of June 30 and July 7 snap parliamentary elections, which has led to questions over the foreign policy implications if they win enough seats to form a government.

"I wish for Ukraine to have at disposal the ammunition and equipment it needs to hold the front, but my red line will not change, which is sending equipment that could have consequences of escalation in eastern Europe," Bardella told reporters at the Eurosatory arms fair near Paris.

"And so I don't plan to send, especially, long-range missiles or other weapons that will allow Ukraine to strike the Russian territory. My position has not changed and will not change – it's about support for Ukraine and avoiding all risks of escalation in the region. And I think the risk of escalation is of course real."

But the constitution also gives the prime minister a role in terms of defence, with the division of power not clear cut.

(Reuters)


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