PARIS Russian President Vladimir Putin wished French far-right leader Marine Le Pen "good luck" for next month's presidential election, a close aide to the National Front candidate said after the two met in the Kremlin on Friday.
"He wished her good luck for the presidential election," Ludovic de Danne, who took part in the meeting, told Reuters from Moscow.
"We felt they understood each other, they were on the same wave length," he said in a phone interview.
The meeting lasted about an hour and a half, and focused mostly on international affairs including the fight against terrorism and very little on the French election, de Danne said.
De Danne, who advises Le Pen on international affairs for her presidential bid, added that the pair did not discuss the financing of Le Pen's campaign.
Last week, Le Pen's party mocked centrist candidate and favourite Emmanuel Macron for traveling to Berlin to meet German Chancellor Angela by Merkel. "Mr. Macron is in a competition with Mr. Fillon to be Mrs. Merkel's top vassal," said Florian Philippot, Le Pen's deputy, at the time.
Asked how the Putin-Le Pen meeting was different from the Macron-Merkel one, de Danne said: "Macron-Merkel it's the declining establishment, Le Pen and Putin represent the freedom of the people, cooperation in a multi-polar world."
(Reporting by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Andrew Callus)