Putin loses another ally in EU as Marine Le Pen breaks away from 'fan club' group
Ms Le Pen and her MEPs voted in favour of a resolution that condemned Putin's attack on Ukraine
Marine Le Pen, French politician and President of the National Rally, has broken away as an ally of Vladimir Putin and backed Tuesday’s resolution that slammed the Russian leader’s invasion of Ukriane.
Ms Le Pen has previously shown enthusiastic support for Putin and her party took a large Russian bank loan in 2017.
It was therefore anticipated that MEPs from Ms Le Pen’s party would not support the resolution condemning Russia's military intervention in Ukraine.
This would have opposed the consensus of mainstream parties, causing a split within the bloc.
But she called the group to ensure MEPs voted in favour of the resolution.
And with the exception of Thierry Marani who was a member of RT France’s “ethics committee” until 2018, all members followed suit.
The resolution garnered overwhelming support, Politico reports.
It specifically highlighted the need to support Ukraine in its long-standing bid to work towards EU membership and demanded “Member States acknowledged and accepted that severe sanctions against the Russian Federation will unavoidably entail negative effects on their economic situation".
The vote followed Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s plea calling for his country to join the EU as a show of support for his country.
"We are fighting for our rights, for our freedoms and now we’re fighting for survival. We are also fighting to be equal members of Europe," Zelenskyy said.
The move from Ms Le Pen is timely with the upcoming French election.
She also openly denounced Russia’s invasion on Friday: “I think that what he has done is completely reprehensible. It changes, in part, the opinion I had of him.”
Since fighting started last Thursday, countries around the world have shown their support for Ukraine and widely condemned Putin's actions by imposing an unprecedented array of sanctions.
The US, EU and UK have predominantly targeted its finance, energy and military-industrial sectors as well as individuals and sporting events.
Sanctions have also been aimed at freezing the assets of Putin and his foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, in response to their continued military advance.