Putin meets France's Le Pen in Moscow

Le Pen told reporters after the talks that the aim of her visit to Russia was not to boost her election chances, though her meeting with Putin is likely to go down well with her core supporters in France, many of whom admire the Russian leader's conservative stance on social and moral issues.

The French National Front (FN) party leader has voiced admiration for Putin in the past and did so again after the meeting, which an aide to Le Pen said lasted about 90 minutes.

He also appeared to disavow suspicions that the Russian government had interfered in the French elections.

"We attach a lot of importance to our relations with France, trying to maintain smooth relations with both the acting power and the opposition representatives", Putin reportedly said.

But Mr. Putin dismissed those claims.

Russian Federation has been accused of interfering in the U.S. election in an effort to sway results in President Donald Trump's favour, prompting a probe by American authorities.

An aide to Le Pen, Ludovic de Danne, told the Reuters news agency that the meeting focused mostly on global affairs.

He said Mr Putin had wished her good luck in the election.

"We felt they understood each other, they were on the same wave length", he said in a phone interview.

Le Pen, prior to meeting Putin on Friday, went to the Russian parliament's foreign affairs committee, where she was greeted with blue roses and with kisses and where she said that the European Union should drop its sanctions on Russia. "First of all, we should lift the sanctions [against Russia] that actually have been forced upon us by the European Union".

French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen sought to reassure voters concerned over her plans to withdraw France from the euro zone.

Calling for France to "reconnect with the greatness of our country", Le Pen said the Republic would "regain her independence, the rule of law, the sweetness of freedom".

Marine Le Pen has previously stated her approval of Russia's annexation of of Crimea.

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.

Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. presidential vote has emboldened the Kremlin, even though the ongoing U.S. Congressional scrutiny of his campaign ties with Russian Federation has all but dashed Moscow's hopes for a quick detente. Francois Fillon, once the front-runner, calls the investigation a smear campaign to torpedo his presidential campaign.

But shortly after the meeting of Putin and Le Pen, several of Russia's state sponsored publications published conflicting reports of alleged loans to Le Pen's campaign.

French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, left, escorted by Russian lawmaker Leonid Slutsky, right, arrives to meet with Vyacheslav Volodin in the Lower House of the Russian Parliament in Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 24, 2017.

Le Pen, in 2014, admitted to taking a €9 million loan from a bank with links to the Kremlin-linked.

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