Russian Federation reserves right to meet any French politician

Ms Le Pen, who is visiting Russia at the invitation of the country's parliament, has previously praised the Russian leader as "looking after the interests of his own country". The topic was not discussed with Putin, she said. "I've pleaded at every level for cooperation between our countries in the fight against terrorism", she said as cited by AFP.

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

After the meeting, Le Pen told reporters that "it's now the world of Putin, the world of Donald Trump", according to The Guardian. He added, "I know that you represent a European political force that is growing quickly".

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.

"I have always opposed the sanctions which I find are both deeply unjust and counter-productive", she said.

She has visited Moscow on several occasions, enjoying positive Russian media coverage. An unconfirmed report this week said Fillon was paid 50,000 euros ($54,000) to arrange a meeting between Putin and a Lebanese magnate, a claim rejected by the Kremlin as "fake news".

UNDR spokesman Laring Baou told DW that Le Pen, as the successor to her father Jean-Marie Le Pen as leader of the National Front party, does not have the interests of Africans in mind.

"At the same time, I see that Hollande does not ask the U.S. for explanations, although it turned out the Central Intelligence Agency eavesdropped on some European leaders and the 2012 candidates for the [French] presidential elections", she said.

Le Pen, at a meeting in Russia's lower house of parliament, called for closer French-Russian ties, and reiterated her take on European Union sanctions against Russia, deeming them "counterproductive".

The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, on Thursday also said it was "fictional" to think Russia wanted to interfere in the French vote, before praising Le Pen as a "realist or anti-globalist" figure.

She also posed for a selfie with federal lawmaker Vitaly Milonov, known for having drafted Russia's 2013 law banning "gay propaganda", which he posted to his Facebook page. Saint-Just justified the request, noting that the party had been seeking foreign banks' assistance, "so why not Russian ones?"

Le Pen indicated that she's holding firm on her program's most distinctive proposal even as she works to alleviate concerns about its consequences.

Reacting to Le Pen's comments on the death of the EU, France's ambassador to the United States, Gerard Araud, tweeted: "That'll be the real significance of the French elections: the survival or the demise of the EU".

  • Leroy Wright