OREANDA-NEWS. The situation around Ukraine has escalated, among other things, due to the actions of the European Union, which is behaving as an "arsonist" and making attempts to break "Russia's sphere of influence". This was said by French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, chairman of the Rassemblement Nationale party, in an interview with the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita.

According to her, Russian President Vladimir Putin does not intend to make a "mistake" and invade Ukraine.

"I believe that the EU has played the role of an arsonist in this issue. You can say what you want, but Ukraine is in Russia's sphere of influence. Attempts to break that sphere of influence create tension," - Le Pen said.

She said France had a role to play in the world as a "balancing force". "The US has dragged us into so many unnecessary wars that have led to an extraordinary expansion of Islamism in the world. I am critical of both America and Russia on many issues,"- the politician added.

Le Pen pointed out that NATO is not in a position to accept new members, including Ukraine. She also believes that Turkey should be excluded from the alliance in the first place.

The situation in Ukraine escalated at the end of October, when a number of foreign media outlets said that Russian troops were being brought to the border and that an "invasion" was being prepared. In particular, Bloomberg sources said that Russia intended to invade Ukraine in early November. The Associated Press later reported that Russia was planning an "offensive" in Ukraine in early 2022.

US State Department chief Anthony Blinken also noted that the Russian president might decide to "invade" as soon as possible and warned about sanctions against Moscow in case of aggression.

Kiev initially denied Russian troop activity directly near its borders. However, in mid-November, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Western partners had informed him about 100,000 Russian troops on the border.

Russian presidential press secretary Dmitriy Peskov responded by saying that the movement of Russian military equipment and army units across the country's territory was solely a Russian matter. It should not disturb other states and poses no threat to them, the Kremlin spokesman added. "Russia is not going to attack anyone, it is not hatching any aggressive plans,"- Peskov said.