Only nine percent of the respondents believe that relations could worsen

As many as 25% of Russians believe that after Emmanuel Macron was elected president of France, relations between the two countries will improve, the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center said in a statement on Wednesday.

“As many as 25% of those polled expect bilateral relations to improve during Emmanuel Macron’s presidency,” the statement reads. “Only nine percent of the respondents believe that relations could worsen, while most people (42%) agree that ties will remain at their current levels.”

Founder of the En Marche! (On the Move) movement, ex-Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron, 39, is the eighth president of the French Fifth Republic, and France’s youngest-ever head of state. Macron will lead the country for the next five years until 2022.

According to the survey’s result, 56% of respondents kept up with the French presidential campaign. A total of 58% of those surveyed said that the election outcome was “very important” or “rather important” for Russia. At the same time, Russians still have a negative view of relations with France: 29% of those surveyed said relations were “chilly”, six percent believe relations to be “tense” and two percent view them as “hostile.” On the other hand, 13% of those polled said that Russian-French ties were “friendly,” while eight percent believe relations to be “good” or “neighborly.”

“It happened so that the election was won by a candidate whom Russians did not know very well and whom they did not expect to be able to improve relations. So our fellow citizens have modest or slightly positive expectations concerning President Macron and the new phase of bilateral relations,” head of the national pollster’s research department Stepan Lvov said.

The survey, involving a total of 1,200 respondents, was conducted on May 12-13, 2017. The margin of error does not exceed 3.5% at the 95% confidence level.