France's Macron says Le Pen's interests tied to Russian leadership

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FILE PHOTO: French far-right presidential candidate Le Pen campaigns in the south of France
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PARIS (Reuters) - French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen's interests are tied to Russia's leadership, President Emmanuel Macron said in a TV debate with his far-right challenger on Wednesday.

He said other French parties had managed to finance their operations with French loans, not through a bank connected to Russia.

"None of us went to seek financing from a Russian bank, and especially not from one that is close to power in Russia," Macron said.

Le Pen obtained a loan from a Russian bank in 2014 ahead of her run for the presidency in 2017.

Le Pen retorted that she was a political leader free of external influence.

(Reporting by GV De Clercq; Editing by Richard Lough)

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