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Kremlin Not Expecting Better Ties with France After Election

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Mikhail Metzel / TASS / kremlin.ru

Moscow does not “have any particular hope” for improved ties with Paris following France’s snap parliamentary election, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday. 

“So far, we have not seen such a clearly expressed political will [to restore bilateral relations]  from anyone,” Peskov said.

After leading the election’s first round in June, the far-right National Rally (RN) party had been tipped to win a majority in the French National Assembly. 

But Sunday’s vote saw the leftist New Popular Front alliance gain the most seats, with RN falling to third place behind President Emmanuel Macron’s Ensemble alliance. No party secured an outright majority. 

“There is a certain drift in the preferences of French voters, a drift that is difficult to predict, but we will continue to watch with great interest the process of forming a government,” Peskov said.

Although the RN has sought to emphasize its commitment to supporting Ukraine, many in the West perceive it as being soft on Moscow. 

After the party’s success in the first round of the legislative election, Russia’s Foreign Ministry posted a picture on X (formerly Twitter) of triumphant RN leader Marine Le Pen. 

“The people of France are seeking a sovereign foreign policy that serves their national interests and a break from the dictate of Washington & Brussels,” the caption read. 

On Sunday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov described joint efforts by left-wing and centrist parties to prevent a far-right majority in France as “designed precisely to manipulate the will of the voters.”

“If the results of the first round [ballot] were used as the basis for forming parliament, then there would be serious changes in France,” Lavrov added.

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