Europe

Le Pen visits Russia weeks before French presidential vote

Far-right presidential candidate for the presidential election Marine Le Pen smiles prior to a television debate at French TV station TF1 in Aubervilliers, outside Paris, France, Monday, March 20, 2017. The five leading candidates for France's presidential election are holding their first debate Monday, with centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen leading polls and jobs and security among voters' top concerns. (Patrick Kovarik/Pool Photo via AP)

Far-right presidential candidate for the presidential election Marine Le Pen smiles prior to a television debate at French TV station TF1 in Aubervilliers, outside Paris, France, Monday, March 20, 2017. The five leading candidates for France's presidential election are holding their first debate Monday, with centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen leading polls and jobs and security among voters' top concerns. (Patrick Kovarik/Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

French far right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen is headed to Moscow for meetings with lawmakers less than a month before the election.

Officials from her National Front party said she is traveling Friday, on the heels of a trip this week by Le Pen to Chad as she bolsters her international credentials for the two-round vote on April 23 and May 7.

The head of the Russian Duma's international affairs committee, Leonid Slutsky, was quoted by the Tass news agency as saying Le Pen will hold meetings on the "international agenda such as the war on terrorism."

Le Pen received a loan from a Russian bank in 2014 and her support for Moscow has been controversial because of Russian President Vladimir Putin's actions in Ukraine and Syria.