MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia values relations with France and does not want to influence the upcoming presidential elections there, President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen on Friday.
"Russia attaches great importance to our relations with France while we try to maintain equal relations both with representatives of the current government and with representatives of the opposition," Putin said in Moscow.
He stressed that "we in no way want to influence events, but we reserve the right to communicate with all representatives of all political forces of the country."
On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia did not interfere in the affairs of other countries, particularly on pre-election processes. He expressed indignation at "absolutely fictitious and most importantly not smart" media reports claiming Russia's "total influence on the electoral processes" in France and Germany.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, commenting on the allegations of Russia's interference in the US presidential election, said that Russia avoided actions that could be interpreted as meddling in the election process in other countries.