Kremlin says Putin has ‘good relations’ with French candidate Fillon

French politician Fillon, member of the conservative Les Republicains political party, delivers a speech at his campaign headquarters after partial results in the first round of the French center-right presidential primary election vote in Paris

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has “rather good relations” with French center-right presidential candidate Francois Fillon, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.

Peskov said Moscow was closely watching the election primaries in France.

When asked about two Russian soldiers detained by Ukraine near the border with Crimea, Peskov said Russia had taken all the necessary steps.

“They are Russian Federation citizens, this is the most important thing in this case,” Peskov said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier on Tuesday that Ukraine’s detention of the Russian soldiers was “a provocation.”

(Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh; Editing by Jack Stubbs)