Reuters International

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov smiles as he arrives for a signing ceremony following a meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2016 (SPIEF 2016) in St. Petersburg, Russia, June 17, 2016. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has "rather good relations" with French centre-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)

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