World News

Putin praises French presidential contender Fillon

Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) shakes hands with former French Prime Minister Francois Fillon as former Italian prime minister Romano Prodi (R) looks on during a meeting with 'Valdai' International Discussion Club members in the town of Valdai September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday he welcomed intentions to improve ties with Russia that have been voiced by contenders to be the French centre-right’s presidential candidate.

Putin said he has good personal relations with one of the contenders, Francois Fillon, calling him an “upstanding person.”

Speaking to reporters, Putin also said that Moscow hopes that Western moves to counter Russian media will not result in serious restrictions.

Reporting by Denis Dyomkin; Writing by Andrey Ostroukh; Editing by Christian Lowe