Putin meets Le Pen, denies French election interference

"The time has come to defeat globalists", French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen told a rally on Sunday, stating "the European Union will die because the people do not want it anymore". US intelligence agencies have accused Moscow of hacking to interfere in the 2016 USA election.

Ms Le Pen has visited Russian Federation many times, although this was her first meeting with Mr Putin.

Referring to Russia's role in Syria and France's fight against Islamic extremists, she called on the two countries to work together to fight "terrorism".

The strategist suggested if two-thirds of undecided voters choose Le Pen, her chances of winning would receive a huge boost.

"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.

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The meeting - which lasted an hour and a half, according to a Le Pen advisor - was not announced this week when the Russian parliament confirmed that she would be meeting with lawmakers Friday.

Le Pen has been to Moscow before to talk to MPs, but the Putin meeting was the first of its kind.

The meeting took place in the Kremlin with Le Pen "gesticulating energetically across the table from a disengaged-looking Mr. Putin", according to The New York Times.

"I think we should stop this policy of double standards - this is what creates a sense of injustice not only for Russian people, but for many nations worldwide", Le Pen concluded.

Other French-language Russian media sources have spread unsubstantiated claims that Le Pen's pro-EU rival, Emmanuel Macron, had a gay love affair and that he was an agent of United States banks and of Saudi Arabia.

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In 2014, the National Front received a nine-million-euro ($9.7 million) loan from a Russian commercial bank that later collapsed. Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, also told the Reuters news agency on Friday that Putin and Le Pen did not discuss financial aid.

Macron's aides claimed in February that Russian groups were interfering with his campaign soon after a spike in social media claims that Macron is gay. "But let's not forget who they are, what they do, and the nature of their regime", Macron said.

"I have always called for lifting the sanctions, which are counterproductive".

Le Pen with Putin.

The Front National treasurer, Wallerand de Saint-Just, has insisted Le Pen's visit is not a campaign fundraising exercise.

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Russian support for Le Pen appears to have similar roots to the well-publicised backing of Donald Trump.