Vladimir Putin denies French election interference after Marine Le Pen meeting

On the previous day, she was the guest of honor at a cocktail party in Trump Tower at an apartment rented by a right-wing political operative connected to both Trump and European far right politicians.

“Of course I know that the election campaign in France is actively developing”, said Putin.

Although Putin hasn’t given Le Pen an explicit endorsement – nor has he given one to populist far-right President Donald Trump, whom he’s referred to as “bright”, “talented” and “colorful” – his government has a history of financing Le Pen’s party, the Front National.

Speaking to EUobserver from Moscow on Friday, Russian opposition leader and former MP Mikhail Kasyanov, said Putin’s treatment of Le Pen represented “outrageous” interference in French national politics.

Le Pen said Friday that if she were elected, she would “ponder lifting sanctions” against Russian Federation.

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

Le Pen has over the past few months tried to tackle this by criticising the unpopular European Union while telling voters she would not abruptly pull France out of the bloc or the euro but instead hold a referendum after six months of renegotiating the terms of France’s European Union membership. She called for European sanctions to be lifted from Russian Federation, and said Russian Federation and France should share counter-terrorism intelligence information.

She openly backs his 2014 annexation of Crimea that prompted the European Union to impose sanctions. It likes her commitment to forge a strong partnership with Moscow. Her Instagram feed is a well-curated assemblage of leaders she admires, political events, tableaux of Moscow life, cat pictures, and sultry portraits of Katasonova herself.

Putin, last year, also met with two other pro-Russian French politicians, the centre-right presidential candidate, Francois Fillon, and the centre-right former president Nikolas Sarkozy.

Le Pen said in Moscow that financial aid to her party had “in no way” been discussed during her meeting with Putin. “I don’t have that information”, he replied.

“Given the fact that that the population of France has a very positive attitude towards Russian Federation, most likely, the visit will play in favor of Le Pen, therefore, she chose to arrive in Russian Federation and negotiate”, Daria Grevtsova concluded.

Dmitry Kiselyov, the anchor of the main weekly news program on Russian state TV, has echoed that theme, saying that the French judiciary was working “as swiftly as a guillotine during the bloody French Revolution” to undermine Fillon and Le Pen. She never showed up. Polls suggest that Le Pen and independent centrist Emmanuel Macron are the two top contenders in the election.

French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen advocates closer ties with Vladimir Putin. They met in Moscow Friday