Le Pen told Putin claims of Russian meddling in French elections were groundless

Dear Editor,

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

There is no good reason for France to engage in a Cold War-style policy against Russia, National Front leader Marine Le Pen said adding that if elected French president, she would seek balanced relations both with Russia and the US.

“Russia as well as the US is a great power. It’s very important for France to build up balanced relations with both of these countries. I think we could do that with Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump,” Le Pen said.

“I believe France shouldn’t put limits on itself when it comes to improving relations with Russia. First of all, we should lift the sanctions against Russia that actually have been forced upon us by the European Union.”

Touching upon the accusations of Russian meddling in the French election campaign, Le Pen said the claims were groundless. “I hear all the time [French President] Hollande talking about it, but I have never seen any proof of these accusations,” acknowledged Le Pen. “At the same time, I see that Hollande does not ask the US for explanations, although it turned out the CIA eavesdropped on some European leaders and the 2012 candidates for the [French] presidential elections,” she added.

“I think we should stop this policy of double standards – this is what creates a sense of injustice not only for Russian people, but for many nations worldwide,” Le Pen concluded.

Paris and Moscow should establish a strategic partnership in counterterrorism and energy spheres, and Le Pen called for comprehensive strategic partnership between Paris and Moscow: “First of all, it is necessary to establish cooperation between France and Russia, both in the field of culture, energy and trade. The same applies to strategic partnership in many areas — in particular, the fight against terrorism”.

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

President Putin shared Le Pen’s view that only by combining efforts the countries can effectively counter the threat of terrorism.

Earlier Italian President Sergio Mattarella announced his decision to pay an official visit to Russia and meet Vladimir Putin in April 2017.

Yours faithfully,

Aleksei Illiuviev

Press Attaché

Russian Embassy in Guyana

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