French National Front leader Marine Le Pen visits Moscow

26th May 2015, Comments 0 comments

The leader of France's far-right National Front, Marine Le Pen, visited Moscow Tuesday for talks with the speaker of the lower house that were closed to press.

Le Pen previously met the speaker Sergei Naryshkin, Russia's fourth most important official and a member of the ruling United Russia party, in April last year.

Le Pen's party in November came under fire for taking out a 9 million euro loan with a Russian bank.

Russia has sought to cosy up to European politicians who have criticised the European Union for imposing sanctions on Moscow over its actions in Ukraine, including Le Pen and left-wing Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

After meeting Naryshkin on Tuesday, Le Pen said that the French government was "very influenced" by the United States, which she added "played an important role in passing (EU) sanctions against Russia."

Le Pen said she was happy to "regularly exchange opinions with Sergei Naryshkin on important topics," cited by TASS state news agency in comments translated into Russian.

"We often have a similar vision when we analyse the situation."

She said she and Naryshkin discussed topics including "the crisis in Ukraine, the worsening situation with the Islamic State group, the danger of terrorist attacks and the financial situation in the world."

Naryshkin at the meeting congratulated Le Pen after her party won the European elections outright in France in a shock result in May last year.

Naryshkin said Le Pen's reforms to the party founded by her father "matched the time and the spirit of contemporary France," the parliament's website said.

Le Pen's team did not announce the visit.

The Duma lower house of parliament on Monday announced the planned meeting on its website, initially saying it would be shown live on television, but press were later barred.

An AFP photographer caught Le Pen going for a stroll on Red Square before the meeting at the Duma.

© 2015 AFP

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