French far-right leader and Presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen met with Russia's President Vladimir Putin on Friday morning during her Moscow trip.
The deputy dean of the Faculty of Global Economics and International Affairs of the Higher School of Economics of the National Research University, Andrei Suzdaltsev, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, said that Le Pen's visit shows that Russian Federation is an important factor in the internal political life of the European Union in general and France in particular.
Le Pen's visit comes weeks before the first round of French presidential elections on April 23, although the right-wing leader said her visit had nothing to do with attracting votes.
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 made the unsubstantiated claim that Ukrainian soldiers were targeting civilians in Russia-occupied parts of eastern Ukraine in what she called "a war crime".
Referring to Russia's role in Syria and France's fight against Islamic extremists, she called on the two countries to work together to fight "terrorism". "I favor Russia's proper participation in the fight against terrorism", Sputnik cited Le Pen as saying. But the French populace's concerns over immigration and security - combined with a rebranding effort that included putting her father out to pasture - has seen Le Pen rally voters.
Nevertheless, according to the political scientist, Le Pen's visit to Russian Federation can cause a mixed reaction among the French society.
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"We have seen how intensively they have played the Russian theme in the USA presidential campaign, and we now can see Le Pen's rivals trying to exploit this theme in the French campaign", she said.
But given her anti-immigrant views and record of defending French colonialism in Africa, the visit didn't go down well with Chadians.
Once considered the front-runner in the French race, conservative candidate Francois Fillon has fallen behind Le Pen and Macron after facing preliminary charges in a probe of taxpayer-funded jobs his wife and children received but allegedly never performed.
Kasyanov told EUobserver that Putin was helping Le Pen, and others like her, such as the German anti-EU and far-right politician Frauke Petry, in order to "divide and weaken" the EU.
The French presidential election is followed by parliamentary elections in June.
In an interview past year with CNN, Le Pen said she was left with no choice after French banks turned her down. "His foreign policy will be based on this", Kasyanov said.