MOSCOW, November 22. /TASS/. The Kremlin is closely following the election campaign in France, relations between the two countries can be deeper than now, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday.
"We are closely following the course of the election campaign in France," he said, commenting on the victory of former French Prime Minister, Francois Fillon, in the first round of the primaries. "France is our partner, the country Russia maintains good relations with, and the scope of cooperation with it could be bigger than now," Peskov said.
He recalled that relations between the Russian leader and Fillon were established when Putin was at the helm of the government. "They had quite intensive contacts, they spent many hours holding negotiations on specific issues," Peskov said. He added that "at that time constructive work was underway in terms of building bilateral relations." "They indeed maintain fairly good relations," the Kremlin spokesman said.
Former French Prime Minister, Francois Fillon, earlier won the first important victory in a bid for French presidency. On Sunday, he was the front-runner in the first round of the primaries held by the center-right Republicans party to select a presidential nominee.
Fillon, 62, had the greatest number of votes - 44.1%, while Alain Juppe, Mayor of Bordeaux, managed to secure 28.3% of votes, and former French President Nicolas Sarkozy had 20.9% of votes.