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 Russia's Putin receives French presidential candidate Le Pen in Kremlin, pledges not to meddle in elections

President Vladimir Putin of Russia has held a meeting with French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen in Moscow.

As reported by Censor.NET citing The Guardian, the surprise move is likely to reignite fears in Europe about Russian support for the European far right.

Putin told Le Pen that Russia had no intention of meddling in the French elections though the meeting is likely to send the opposite message.

Read more: SBU postpones Ukraine entry ban on French presidential candidate Le Pen, - Tkachuk

"We do not want to influence events in any way, but we retain the right to meet with all the different political forces, just like our European and American partners do," Putin said.

Le Pen traveled to Moscow at the invitation of an MP for meetings in the Russian parliament, and had not been expected to meet Putin. However, after the parliamentary meetings were over the Front National candidate soon appeared in televised pictures from inside the Kremlin.

"Of course, it would be very interesting to share our opinions about how our bilateral relations are doing, and about the situation that is developing in Europe," Putin told Le Pen. "I know that you represent a European political force that is growing quickly."

Read more: Secret FBI division investigates Russia's influence on US presidential elections, - CNN

Le Pen told Putin that European countries should share anti-terrorism information with Russian security services to help prevent attacks. "You know what happened a few days ago in Great Britain. I think it would be helpful to share intelligence between our countries," Le Pen told Putin, according to Russian news agencies.

Russian support for Le Pen appears to have similar roots to the well-publicized backing of Donald Trump. There is both the pro-Moscow rhetoric of the candidate, and the broader goal of supporting a "chaos" candidate who would likely erode European unity on issues such as sanctions against Russia.
 
 
 
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