The presidential candidate of the French far-right party "National Front" Marine Le Pen said that Russia's annexation of Crimea "was not illegal."
"I absolutely do not believe that there was an illegal annexation: there was referendum, Crimean residents expressed the desire to join Russia," Radio France quoted Le Pen as saying on the air of the radio station RMC.
The legislation in Ukraine does not have a mechanism of local referenda. In addition, the issues od national importance such as the separation of a part of the territory, cannot be resolved at local level. The survey, which, according to Russia, legalized the annexation, was carried out on the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol in conditions of armed occupation.
Le Pen also said that in the event of her election to presidency, France will leave NATO, "at least it command level."
Marine Le Pen is one of the most popular candidates in France. According to recent opinion polls, she may pass into the second round, where she most likely will vie with the representative of the Republicans party Francois Fillon.
The first round of France's presidential election will be held on 23 April, the second - on 7 May.