Published: Wed, March 29, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

France's Le Pen says euro exit 'wouldn't be chaos'

President Putin has told French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen in Moscow that Russian Federation has no intentions to influence the French elections, but reserves the right to meet any French politicians it wishes.

Marine Le Pen, National Front candidate in the upcoming French presidential elections, discussed with President Putin in Moscow the prospects of cooperation with Russian Federation in counter-terrorism, culture, energy and trade, and breaking Cold War stereotypes.

Le Pen also said that France and Russian Federation should exchange intelligence to jointly combat terrorism.

Opinion polls forecast that Le Pen will do well in the April 23 first round of the presidential election only to lose the May 7 run-off to centrist Emmanuel Macron.

Mr Putin said: "We by no means want to influence the current events but we reserve the right to communicate with all representatives of all political forces of the country, as do our partners in Europe and the United States, for example".

The FN chief was also spotted at Trump Tower earlier this year.

The far right leader has visited Moscow on several occasions, enjoying positive Russian state media coverage.

Kasyanov said those statements should be taken with a pinch of salt, however.

She dismissed rumors about Russian election meddling, a charge other candidates in the French election have leveled against the Kremlin.

The independent candidate would beat Le Pen in May's second round by 61.5 per cent to 38.5 per cent, according to the poll.

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

Le Pen reaffirmed her position as a candidate who is not beholden to national or worldwide institutions.

Other French-language Russian media sources have spread unsubstantiated claims that Le Pen's pro-EU rival, Emmanuel Macron, had a gay love affair and that he was an agent of United States banks and of Saudi Arabia.

"The European Union will die because the people do not want it anymore. arrogant and hegemonic empires are destined to perish", she added.

This was her fourth trip to Moscow since 2011.

The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, on Thursday also said it was "fictional" to think Russia wanted to interfere in the French vote, before praising Le Pen as a "realist or anti-globalist" figure. Her party took a loan worth nine million Euro in 2014 from a Moscow-based bank.

"No one knows what will happen", said Jean-Lou Blachier of France's Confederation of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses, referring to Britain's surprise vote to leave the European Union and Donald Trump's shock election as us president.

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