Putin meets French far-right candidate Marine Le Pen at Kremlin

It seems only natural, then, that Marine Le Pen, far-right presidential candidate and leader of the National Front Party, would spend this week in Chad and Russian Federation.

Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters that Russian Federation was not seeking to influence the upcoming French election but had the right to communicate with French politicians.

Putin's meeting with Le Pen came amid rising controversy over whether Russia tried to influence the USA presidential election by hacking computer accounts of the Democratic National Committee, and over meetings between members of President Donald Trump's inner circle and the Russian ambassador.

"I long have spoken for Russian Federation and France to restore their cultural, economic and strategic ties, especially now, when we face a serious terror threat", Le Pen told Putin on Friday.

Le Pen also called for closer ties between France and Russian Federation, adding that the two countries should increase their cooperation in the fight against terrorism.

More news: Kate Middleton and Prince William Honor Terror Victims in Paris

"The Russians very much like her, and Russian banks have certainly helped her and her father before in financing their political activities", says Smith, adding that she's not the only French politician.

Le Pen - an anti-Muslim presidential candidate who has vowed to close all immigration to France and called for a withdrawal from the European Union (cleverly dubbed "Frexit" by some) - is polling well and expected to make the runoff vote on May 7. "I fully agree with you and you are right", Putin replied to Le Pen.

Putin acknowledged that Le Pen represented a spectrum of European political forces that was rapidly growing and said he would favour an exchange of ideas on bilateral relations and the current situation in Europe.

Le Pen drew attention to the fact that some of her French colleagues who had expressed agreement with her during the election campaign eventually changed their opinion for time-serving considerations.

According to a transcript provided by the Kremlin, she said: "This meeting is especially important now that a serious terrorist threat hangs over all of us".

More news: FBI Intelligence Suggests Trump's Aides May Have Coordinated With Russians

A pro-Kremlin French-language website, called CrossCheck, also endorsed her anti-immigrant rhetoric by publishing a fake story in February that a north African man had attacked a French priest and that French media had hushed it up.

If two-thirds of those undecided voters go to Le Pen, Vedral said, she gets awfully close to winning.

Le Pen isn't the only candidate who has taken Russian cash.

"The French and German elections are two crucial points this year".

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