French presidential hopeful Le Pen attends Russian parliament meeting

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Putin told Le Pen Russia had no intention of meddling in the French presidential elections, according to Russian news agencies, though the meeting is likely to send the opposite message.

Le Pen is now visiting Russia at the invitation of senior Russian lawmaker Leonid Slutsky as part of cooperation between State Duma lawmakers and French political circles. Jean-Marie Le Pen, the National Front's co-founder, his daughter Marine and her niece Marion Marechal-Le Pen have all made numerous visits to Moscow over the years.

The 90-minute meeting focused on global issues such as terrorism but very little was said about next month's election in France, Mr de Danne added.

Le Pen travelled to Moscow at the invitation of an MP for meetings in the Russian parliament, and had not been expected to meet Putin.

The far right leader has visited Moscow on several occasions, enjoying positive Russian state media coverage.

"I know that you represent quite a fast-developing spectrum of European political forces".

Putin was pleased for the meeting with the candidate for the extreme rightwing National Front party, and stated that Moscow only seeks to maintain contacts with French politicians, out and within the government.

Earlier Friday, Le Pen met Russian parliamentary speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, calling for increasing cooperation with Russia in the fight against "terrorism".

Once considered the front-runner in the French race, conservative candidate Francois Fillon has fallen behind Le Pen and Macron after facing preliminary charges in a probe of taxpayer-funded jobs his wife and children received but allegedly never performed.

Le Pen with Putin.

"On the one hand, Marin Le Pen shows that she can contact such a hard state as Russian Federation, which is very important for European politicians now, as many people say that Russian Federation is a very big threat to the world". "I'm a totally free woman", she said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday said Le Pen was not a "populist" but a "realist or anti-globalist" figure. Frontrunner Emmanuel Macron, an independent who backs the European Union sanctions against Russian Federation, has accused the Kremlin of being involved in cyberattacks. But she is open about her ambitions to build relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as his ally in Syria, President Bashar al-Assad.

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