France's Le Pen, on Russian Federation visit, heads to Kremlin for exhibition

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.

Ms Le Pen's visit - her fourth to Russian Federation since 2011 - comes ahead of the two rounds of French presidential elections on 23 April and 7 May.

The only French presidential candidate to meet with Putin, Le Pen is one of the front-runners in the French election.

"We don't want to influence in any way the events going on [in France], but reserve our right to communicate with all representatives of the country's political powers, as our partners do in Europe and in the US", Putin said. In the past, the National Front has received loans from banks tied to the Kremlin to fund its political operations.

Dmitry Kiselyov, the anchor of the main weekly news program on Russian state TV, has echoed that theme, saying that the French judiciary was working "as swiftly as a guillotine during the bloody French Revolution" to undermine Fillon and Le Pen.

"It must be done in a rational, well-prepared way", she said in interview with Le Parisien daily.

"I long have spoken for Russian Federation and France to restore their cultural, economic and strategic ties, especially now, when we face a serious terror threat", Le Pen told Putin on Friday. At this moment, Putin's meeting with Le Pen seems to be a significant move.

Le Pen is seeking money to help her finance her presidential run and says French banks are refusing to lend her the millions of euros she needs.

Denying any quid pro quo, the National Front was the only French party to approve Russia's annexation of Crimea, and its officials have regularly called for the lifting of Western sanctions against Russian Federation.

Opinion polls show the eurosceptic National Front (FN) leader qualifying for the April 23 first round of the presidential election but losing the May 7 run-off to centrist Emmanuel Macron.

Speaking on immigration, Le Pen focussed particularly on the French overseas territory of Guiana, which she recently visited.

Before the meeting, the French politician visited an exhibition devoted to Louis IX of France and relics of Sainte-Chapelle in the Patriarch's Palace. She also called for Russian Federation and France to unite and save the world from globalism and Islamic fundamentalism.

Le Pen has said an European Union referendum would be called in France within six months of her election.

  • Leroy Wright