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French presidential election: a demonstrator tackled to the ground and dragged out of the room after brandishing a photo of Marine Le Pen and Vladimir Poutine | world news

A protester was thrown to the ground and dragged out of Marine Le Pen’s press conference after he held up a heart-shaped placard with a photo of the French presidential candidate and Vladimir Putin.

Footage shows Pauline Rapilly Ferniot, green city councilor for the commune of Boulogne-Billancourt in Paris, standing and holding the sign as Ms Le Pen speaks to reporters.

A security guard then throws Ms. Ferniot to the ground before she is dragged from the room by one of her arms.

The councilman is then seen being pulled into another room before the doors are closed.

Read more: Can “detoxified” Marine Le Pen convince enough voters that she is fit to be a leader?

Ms Ferniot is part of a left-wing group called Ibiza Collective, which was formed in France when the education minister went on vacation to the Balearic Islands after schools closed during the pandemic.

Speaking after pulling out of the conference, Ms Ferniot said: “We just wanted to make visible the fact that Marine Le Pen’s diplomacy has to be soft on dictators and so we made it visible.

“And remember she was a strong partner of Vladimir Putin for a long time and we found that we’re kind of forgetting that today.

“And the objective of the Ibiza Collective is to highlight subjects that we think we don’t talk about enough, so it worked because you all tell me about what we wanted to show. deux-tours, to remind us of the danger of the National Rally.”

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Pauline Rapilly Ferniot was thrown to the ground by a security guard. Photo: BFM
Pauline Rapilly Ferniot was dragged to another room after being thrown to the ground
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The protester was dragged to another room after holding up the sign. Photo: BFM

Far-right presidential candidate Ms Le Pen later said Ms Ferniot had been tackled to the ground by an Interior Ministry protection officer, but French media said he was part of the presidential candidate’s own security team.

Ms. Le Pen, who leads the National Rally party, used the conference to warn against sending more weapons to Ukraine.

She also called for improved relations between NATO and Russia after the war.

Explainer: When are the French presidential elections, who is running and how do they work?

The outspoken nationalist, who has long ties to Russia, also confirmed that she would remove France from military command of NATO and reiterate French support for the EU if she wins the April 24 election. .

French President Emmanuel Macron, a pro-EU centrist, faces a tougher-than-expected struggle to stay in power, in part because the economic impact of the war is hitting poor households the hardest.

Ms Ferniot said she wanted to remind people of Marine Le Pen's ties to Russian <a class=President Vladimir Putin. “/>
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Ms Ferniot said she wanted to remind people of Marine Le Pen’s ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: BFM
Marine Le Pen is an outspoken nationalist with longstanding ties to Russia.  Photo: AP
Picture:
Marine Le Pen is an outspoken nationalist with long ties to Russia. Photo: AP

France’s European partners fear that a possible Le Pen presidency could undermine Western unity as the United States and Europe seek to support Ukraine and end Russia’s war against its neighbor.

Asked about military aid to Ukraine, Ms Le Pen said she would continue her support for defense and intelligence.

“(But) I’m more reserved about direct arms deliveries. Why? Because… there’s a thin line between aid and becoming co-belligerent,” the far-right leader said.

Earlier on Wednesday, French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said France had sent 100m euros (£82m) worth of weapons to Ukraine in recent weeks as part of a a flow of Western weapons.