French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen was due in Moscow on Friday for meetings with lawmakers less than a month before a presidential election clouded by allegations of Russian interference. The leader of the National Front, an anti-immigrant and anti-European Union party, is seeking to bolster her international credentials ahead of the two-round French election on April 23 and May 7. Her visit comes on the heels of a trip this week to Chad, base of a French military operation that’s aimed at rooting out Islamic extremists from a swath of Africa. The head of the Russian Duma’s international affairs committee, Leonid Slutsky, was quoted by the Tass news agency as saying Le Pen would hold meetings on the “international agenda such as the war on terrorism”.
There was no official word as to whether the French far-right leader would meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom she has described as “good for world peace”.
The trip comes at a time when lawmakers in the US are investigating President Donald Trump’s campaign links to Russia.
Le Pen, an admirer of both Trump and Putin, has made multiple visits to Russia, as have her father, niece and other members of the National Front, often meeting with Russian legislators.