Putin meets France's Le Pen in Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin urged joint global efforts to fight terrorism on Friday at a meeting in Moscow with French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen.

Raising a laugh from the audience Le Pen called Macron the "Jean-Claude Van Damme of politics", remarking "you don't understand most of what he says, but what you do understand, is frightening".

"A new world has emerged in the past years".

Buoyed by the unexpected election of Donald Trump in the United States and by Britain's vote to leave the European Union, the leader of the Eurosceptic and anti-immigrant National Front (FN) party, told the rally in Lille that the French election would be the next step in what she called a global rebellion of the people.

Russia's spokesperson told journalists at a press conference that Putin and Le Pen did not discuss Russian Federation financing her presidential campaign.

Le Pen was allegedly at the Kremlin to see French Gothic art and to hold a press conference at the Russian parliament, but apparently those plans were scrapped and she met with Putin.

Le Pen backs the lifting of the European Union's economic sanctions imposed on Russian Federation over its role in the Ukraine conflict - a stance she reiterated on Friday.

Coverage of her in the Russian state media has been favourable. Le Pen has in the past received millions of euros worth of loans from Russian banks.

Anti-European Union and anti-globalist, Le Pen's chances of winning have been aided by a scandal that has ensnared her opponent, Republican Party candidate Fillon.

It is rare for Putin to meet a foreign presidential candidate so close to an election.

Le Pen also said that France and Russian Federation should exchange intelligence to jointly combat terrorism.

Le Pen is polling to reach the runoff in France's presidential election on May 7 but is predicted to lose to independent centrist Emmanuel Macron.

But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Putin's meeting with Le Pen and his encounters with other representatives of foreign opposition forces were "normal practice".

"I hear all the time [French President] Hollande talking about it, but I have never seen any proof to these accusations", Le Pen said.

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". 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.

  • Leroy Wright