During a Moscow news conference a day earlier, Vladimir Zhirinovsky and Jean-Marie Le Pen, leader of France’s National Front, wished each other well in their presidential ambitions and announced their intention this year to link the far-right movements of Europe. "We think our meeting will mark the start of cooperation among European patriots to fight for the defense of our national values," said Le Pen. The two also criticized planned NATO enlargement. Zhirinovsky said he favored launching "preventive strikes at Poland and other East European countries" if they joined NATO and allowed the deployment of NATO troops on their territories. Zhirinovsky was at his most tasteless, making racist remarks about Chechens in Russia and Africans in France and spouting other vulgarities. Le Pen, who was invited to Zhirinovsky’s wedding party, described the Russian leader as a friend and ally. (14)
Lithuanian Prime Minister Forced Out, Successor Named.