03:37 GMT17 June 2021
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    Russia respects the choice of the French people in the first round of presidential elections and favors building mutually beneficial ties with Paris, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Sputnik on Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Centrist Emanuel Macron and right-wing Marine Le Pen advanced to the second round of the vote after gaining over 23 percent and over 21 percent, respectively, on Sunday.

    "We respect the choice of the French. We are supporters of building good and mutually beneficial relations," Peskov said.

    On Sunday, the French citizens participated in the election in order to choose one of the 11 nominees to become the country's next leader after the end of incumbent President Francois Hollande's tenure. Ahead of the vote, Macron and Le Pen, as well as Republican candidate Francois Fillon and independent leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon had almost similar chances to make it to the second round.

    However, fortune smiled upon Macron and Le Pen, who gathered the support of 23.86 percent and 21.43 percent of votes respectively, with 97 percent of votes counted, according to the data published on the French Interior Ministry's website. Several media have published final results of the vote allegedly provided by the ministry, saying that Macron won 23.75 percent of the votes, while Le Pen got 21.53 percent. Both Fillon and Melenchon were supported by less than 20 percent of voters.

    At the same time, Le Pen's result was mostly owing to the support of the French regions. In the country's capital she was backed by less than 5 percent of voters, while Macron won 34.83 percent of Parisian votes.

    presidential election, Marine Le Pen, Emmanuel Macron, France, Russia
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