Le Pen wants to sever French military cooperation with Germany
If France was to ever have the far-right Marine Le Pen as its president, defense between Berlin and Paris would be rendered ruins as she says they have "different views".
Right-wing National Rally party leader Marine Le Pen called on Friday for the end of France's weapons manufacturing cooperation with Germany over divergent visions over the future of Europe's security.
Incumbent French President Emmanuel Macron and his far-right opponent Marine Le Pen led the polls during the first round of the French presidential elections on Sunday, with a slight lead for Macron, who won 28.1-29.7%, around 5% more than Le Pen's 23.3-24.7%.
The top two candidates will face each other in the second round set for April 24, projections by polling firms for French television channels said based on a sample of votes.
"What I want to end is the industrial cooperation in the area of weapons. The reason is simple, in fact – Germany has a completely, radically different vision, which is radically different from our philosophy," Le Pen said in an interview with French broadcaster BFMTV.
Military cooperation between France and Germany is currently seeing the two working together on the Future Combat Air System program to develop several new air technologies, including a new fighter jet, to enhance their air combat capabilities. They are also working on developing their own tank.
Germany allocates more funds to military
Germany announced that it would allocate additional two billion euros ($1.8 billion) for military spending, and according to Finance Minister Christian Lindner, the majority of the sum will be dedicated to assistance to Ukraine.
Lindner confirmed media reports on Twitter, saying, "Media reports are true: the budget amendments will increase funds for assistance in strengthening the forces by 2 billion euros. The funds will go overwhelmingly in favor of Ukraine."
Die Medienberichte sind zutreffend: Im #Ergänzungshaushalt wird die militärische #Ertüchtigungshilfe auf 2 Milliarden Euro angehoben. Die Mittel kommen weit überwiegend der #Ukraine zugute. Der @Bundeskanzler hatte dies frühzeitig angefordert. CL— Christian Lindner (@c_lindner) April 15, 2022
This comes days after President Joe Biden announced that the United States was giving another $800 million in military assistance to Ukraine.
The latest package of lethal weapons will include systems already deployed in Ukraine and "new capabilities tailored to the wider assault we expect Russia to launch in eastern Ukraine," as Biden claimed.
This comes following the Russian ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov's warning of the influx of Western arms to the conflict zone in Ukraine that was adding fuel to the fire.
Since the start of the war, the United States has deployed more than 100,000 of its troops to NATO member states, with the Biden administration authorizing $1.7 billion in military aid. Since Biden took office, however, Washington has given Ukraine $2.4 billion in military assistance, according to figures provided by the White House.
Moscow sent a formal diplomatic note to the United States warning that Washington and Brussels' arms shipments were adding fuel to the fire of the war in Ukraine, stressing that this matter could bring upon "unpredictable consequences", the Washington Post reported Friday.
"We call on the United States and its allies to stop the irresponsible militarization of Ukraine, which implies unpredictable consequences for regional and international security," the note read in a reiteration of a call issued previously by the Russian ambassador to the US when he said the same thing about arms supplies to the Kiev.
"It is extremely important that Western countries stop adding fuel to the fire by pumping Kiev's regime with weapons," Anatoly Antonov said at the time.