France's right wing populist candidate is losing but not yet beaten


25 March, 2017

French right-wing leader and presidential candidate Marine Le Pen in Moscow on Friday called for greater cooperation against terrorism and better relations with Russian Federation.

Putin acknowledged that Le Pen represented a spectrum of European political forces that was rapidly growing and said he would favour an exchange of ideas on bilateral relations and the current situation in Europe.

Le Pen raised eyebrows in January when she visited Trump Tower, although she did not visit Trump himself at the time. She ratified France in fighting terrorism and how much Russian Federation can contribute to combat it.

"We could expect such [financial] support again ..."

Lavrov said Le Pen was not a "populist" or "marginal" but a "realist or anti-globalist" figure.

The National Front leader will hold talks with State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin and lawmakers "at my personal invitation", Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the global relations committee in Russia's lower house of parliament, said, according to the Interfax news service.

Le Pen is expected to easily make it to the second round of voting on 7 May, as she is now neck-and-neck in first round voting intentions with centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron.

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A Russia-friendly approach to geopolitics runs in the Le Pen family.

"I expect more anti-Macron campaigns will be coming".

She made the unsubstantiated claim that Ukrainian soldiers were targeting civilians in Russia-occupied parts of eastern Ukraine in what she called "a war crime".

Le Pen has sought to capitalise on the anti-globalisation anger reflected by Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president - both votes that were welcomed by the Kremlin.

"Fundamentalism is slowly retreating, also thanks to the assistance of Russian Federation, which dealt a heavy blow to it by its intervention in Syria", she said.

She also met with Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin.

Russian Federation has been accused of interfering in the USA election in an effort to sway results in President Donald Trump's favour, prompting a probe by American authorities. They'll discuss the fight against terrorism and issues of Russian-French cooperation, he said. "His foreign policy will be based on this", Kasyanov said.

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