France's Le Pen calls for end to European Union sanctions on Russian Federation

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The leader of the French National Front Party, Marine De Pen, stated that she shared Moscow's stance regarding the crisis in Ukraine.

Le Pen also called for closer ties between France and Russian Federation, adding that the two countries should increase their cooperation in the fight against terrorism. She also has called for strong security ties with Moscow to jointly combat radical Islamic groups, promised to work to repeal the European Union sanctions on Moscow over its 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and pledged to recognize Crimea as part of Russian Federation if she's elected.

France's far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has urged an end to the European Union (EU) sanctions imposed against Russian Federation over the crisis in Ukraine.

"Mr Putin has stepped into the French election by inviting her to the Kremlin for the kind of discussion he normally has with foreign leaders", he said.

Emmanuel Macron is likely to win the first round of the French elections which begin on April 23.

She also met with Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin.

It is rare for Putin to meet a foreign presidential candidate so close to an election.

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Le Pen drew attention to the fact that some of her French colleagues who had expressed agreement with her during the election campaign eventually changed their opinion for time-serving considerations. She's openly supportive of Putin's military operations in Syria and his annexation of Crimea.

Le Pen said Friday that if she were elected president, she would "ponder lifting sanctions" against Russian Federation.

Her party took a 9-million-euro loan from a Moscow-based bank in 2014, and is actively seeking new sources of funding. Her party said that French banks had refused to lend it any money.

The meeting - which lasted an hour and a half, according to a Le Pen advisor - was not announced this week when the Russian parliament confirmed that she would be visiting Moscow on Friday to meet with lawmakers.

The married Macron denied the claims and within days his campaign officials blamed Russian media and Russian hackers for attempting to sway the French election, but did not provide proof of Russian hacking.

In an interview past year with CNN, Le Pen said she was left with no choice after French banks turned her down.