In an unprecedented move, the Russian president has met with a candidate for the French presidency in Moscow.
The meeting between the leader of the far-right eurosceptic FN party Marine Le Pen and Vladimir Putin has reignited fears of Russian support for far-right groups in Europe.
Putin told Le Pen he had no intention of influencing the French elections.
“We are trying to maintain relations with the ruling authorities and opposition representatives too. We don’t want to influence in any way the events underway.”
Le Pen said, if elected, she would consider what she had to do to swiftly lift EU sanctions imposed on Russia over the Ukraine crisis.
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