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Vladimir Putin denies French election interference after Marine Le Pen meeting

Far-right candidate for the presidential election Marine Le Pen delivers a speech during a meeting in Lille, northern France, Sunday, March 26, 2017. Putin has held a su.

The only French presidential candidate to meet with Putin, Le Pen is one of the front-runners in the French election.

French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, left, gestures while speaking to Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, during their meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 24, 2017.

There have been reports of Le Pen's closer ties with Russia, similar to that of Trump's relations with his Russian counterpart.

Russian Federation has been accused of interfering in the U.S. election in an effort to sway results in President Donald Trump's favour, prompting a probe by American authorities.

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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.

"I know that you represent quite a fast-developing spectrum of European political forces", he told her. She met Vladimir Putin in Moscow and called for sanctions over Ukraine to be lifted.

"Prohibiting lawmakers from talking with each other is an abuse of democratic rights", Le Pen was quoted by RIA Novosti news agency as saying.

She openly wants closer ties with Russia and has previously been criticized for taking a loan from a Russian bank.

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

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She has visited Moscow on several occasions, enjoying positive Russian state media coverage. Her party took a €9m loan from a Moscow-based bank in 2014.

Le Pen has emerged to become one of the front runners in the French presidential election, holding the lead in polls for months, but is now being pipped by centrist candidate Macron.

However, she had appeared to fall from grace with the Kremlin as the more electable former prime minister Francois Fillon won the nomination of the center-right Republican party.

Ally and western Vendee regional council president Bruno Retailleau, also a French senator, praised Mr Fillon as a "real fighter", while dismissing Mr Macron as the spiritual heir of Hollande and an amalgam of "Wall Street and Woodstock". French law doesn't bar foreigners from contributing in its political campaigns.

In a similar survey before the Brexit referendum last year, the majority of economists forecast a drop below $1.35 in the event of a decision to leave, a call that was borne out after the vote as the pound slumped more than 10 percent to a 31-year low of $1.3229.

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