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MOSCOW, March 24. /TASS/. Russia is not seeking to influence the presidential race in France, but has the right to meet with representatives of the country's political parties, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at his meeting with the leader of France's National Front political party Marine Le Pen in the Kremlin.
"We attach great importance to our ties with France, and we try to maintain equal relations both with representatives of the current authorities and the opposition," Putin said.
"We do not want to influence the events (the French presidential election) in anyway, but we have the right to maintain contact with all representatives of the country’s political forces, like our partners do, for example in Europe and in the United States," he said.
Of course, it would be very interesting to exchange views with you on how our bilateral relations are developing and on the current situation in Europe. I know that you represent a group of fast-growing European political forces," the president stated.
Prior to the meeting, the French politician, who is in Moscow at the invitation of Russian lawmakers, visited an exhibition devoted to Louis IX of France and relics of Sainte-Chapelle in the Patriarch’s Palace of the Kremlin.
Le Pen noted that France and Russia have deep cultural, economic and strategic ties. "This meeting is especially important when we are facing such a serious terrorist threat," the French politician noted.