French presidential candidate Francois Fillon mentioned the issue of Kosovo when he spoke about Crimea joining Russia.

“We have changed borders ourselves. Kosovo, for example. We think that because we are westerners everything is allowed to us – we can enter Iraq, we can bring order to any corner of the world… There is a fundamental principle of the right of people to decide for themselves. There are borders that have been established in a way, unacceptable for people,” Fillon said.

He spoke during a televised debate on TF1 on Monday, Sputnik is reporting.

The Western stance on Crimea was also criticized by another candidate, the leader of the radical left, Jean-Luc Melenchon, who said that “it seemed to him personally that Crimea was more connected with Russia.”

Other candidates who took part in the debate included Emmanuel Macron, Benoit Hamon – and Marine Le Pen, who, according to media reports, became the target of the other four participants.

They engaged in a fierce debate on issues such as employment, terrorism, and France’s place in Europe.

“Burkinis” were one of the topics, with Le Pen saying that multiculturalism must come to an end, while Macron accused her of making France an enemy of Muslims.

According to the BBC, the debate produced no clear winner. This broadcaster also cited opinion polls that show Le Pen was poised to win the first round, but that Macron would win the presidency in the runoff.

11 candidates are taking part in France’s presidential elections, with the first round scheduled for April 23 and the runoff for May 7.