Putin Denies Meddling in French Election

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PARIS (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has rejected allegations that Moscow meddled in France’s presidential election.

Speaking after talks Monday with French President Emmanuel Macron, Putin said Moscow didn’t try to influence the French vote.

But he also defended his March meeting with Macron’s rival in the presidential race, far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

Putin described Le Pen as a politician who wants to develop friendly ties with Russia.

Putin says it would be strange if Russia rebuffed overtures from European politicians who want to strengthen relations.

He says the meeting with Le Pen didn’t represent an attempt to sway the race.

Putin added that Russia had been well-aware of opinion polls predicting Macron’s victory.