Russian President Vladimir Putin received on Friday for the first time in the Kremlin the leader of the far right French Marine Le Pen.
The head of state insisted that “Russia will not interfere in the election,” according to remarks transcribed by Russian news agencies.
“We do not want to see any influence on future events, but we reserve the right to communicate with representatives of all the political forces in the country, as do our European partners or the United States, Said the Russian president.
“It is interesting to discuss with you how to develop our bilateral relations and the situation in Europe. I know that you represent a European political spectrum that is developing fairly quickly, “he added.
It is however exceptional that Vladimir Putin receives a candidate in a presidential election on a date so close to the election. The custom and the protocol lead him to meet with heads of state of his rank or possibly heads of government of countries with a parliamentary regime.
Previously, the leader of the National Front had met with the president of the Duma, the lower house of the Russian Parliament, Viatcheslav Volodin.
“I am in favor of developing relations with Russia within the framework of this long history that binds our two countries,” Le Pen said, leading the polls in the first round of the presidential election, at the beginning of the interview .
She is one of the European politicians who advocate a rapprochement with Vladimir Putin and who approve the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula Crimea in 2014 by Russia.