According to this Wikipedia article, Marine Le Pen promised the recognition of Russian annexation of Crimea if elected as a president:

According to Russian media, Le Pen has promised to recognize the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea (from Ukraine) in case she is elected President of France.

The cited link (original in Russian, Google translated) states that:

"Taking into account the historical realities, as well as a choice which was clearly expressed in the referendum on the accession [of Crimea to Russia], I, if elected, recognize Crimea Russian territory", - said the politician.

Political status of Crimea seems to be very complicated, as only a few United Nations members recognized Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol:

The following members of the United Nations have made statements about their recognition of the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol as federal subjects of Russia: Afghanistan, Cuba, Kyrgyzstan, Nicaragua, North Korea[42] Syria and Venezuela.

So, no EU countries recognize this new autonomous territory.

Question: is it possible for the President to decide the policy regarding recognition of a new state?

  • 1
    I have narrowed the scope to France only. I think a general question is too broad, although I find it very interesting as well.
    – Alexei
    Apr 2, 2017 at 11:38
  • As a starting point, the Foreign Minister of French did recognise Kosovo some years back.
    – Panda
    Apr 2, 2017 at 23:24

1 Answer 1


France is a sovereign nation. It is free to set whatever policies it sees fit. The president of France, as the head of state, is in charge of setting those policies. Therefore Le Pen would be free to recognize Crimea as territory of Russia if she became president.

The fact that France is in the EU doesn't really come into play here. The EU does not have the power to mandate what its member states can recognize. For example, take Palestine. Some EU members recognize Palestine, while others do not.

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Crimea would be the same thing.

  • 3
    But, of all of the French government, can the President isue that recognition? Certainly, External affairs does not appear to be one of his powers, according to Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President_of_France#Powers. Could it be something that is to be decided by the Prime Minister of France or its government?
    – SJuan76
    Apr 2, 2017 at 16:25
  • I think that recognizing Crimea state would mean more than recognizing Palestine, since Russian - EU relation is much complicated (e.g. energetic dependence, ex. Soviet states wanting to escape Russian influence and even join EU).
    – Alexei
    Apr 2, 2017 at 16:50
  • @Alexei but what your point in your comment is "what could the consequences be if France recognized Crimea as Russian?", which would be a different question (and most possibly an off-topic one) from the original one.
    – SJuan76
    Apr 2, 2017 at 17:06
  • @SJuan76 - I was referring to the comparison between Crimea and Palestine. While theoretically states are allowed to recognize other states as they see fit, I think Crimea means much more than Palestine due to geopolitical reasons (does EU simply accept that Russia can invade a foreign state so close to EU borders?). Also, EU decided some economical sanctions towards Russia due to invasion of Ukraine. If one of the most important EU countries decides this is no longer a problem, there may be a breach in these economical sanctions.
    – Alexei
    Apr 2, 2017 at 17:45
  • @SJuan76 Yes, I do believe the president can. The PM role in France is not super important, the presidency is where all the power really lies. Also the French foreign ministry reports to the president, not the PM. Apr 2, 2017 at 17:46

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