Le Pen calls for an end to EU sanctions on Russia

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France’s far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has urged an end to the European Union sanctions imposed against Russia over the crisis in Ukraine.

Le Pen, the leader of National Front party, said at a meeting on Friday with the speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament in Moscow that the sanctions were counterproductive.

The sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes, against Moscow were originally introduced in March 2014, after the strategic Black Sea peninsula of Crimea rejoined Russia following a referendum.

“I believe that barring parliamentarians from speaking to each other, working together is an infringement of democratic rights,” she told Vyacheslav Volodin.

The French politician also pledged to push for the abolition of the blacklist of certain Russian individuals.

Le Pen also called for closer ties between France and Russia, adding that the two countries should increase their cooperation in the fight against terrorism.

The far-right politician also met Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday.

“We by no means want to influence the current events but we reserve the right to communicate with all representatives of all political forces of the country, as do our partners in Europe and the United States for example,” Putin told Le Pen.

“I know that you represent quite a fast-developing spectrum of European political forces,” Putin added.