France said on Monday the election that extended Russian President Vladimir Putin's rule took place amid "repression", and hailed the "many" Russians who demonstrated their opposition.

"The conditions for a free, pluralist and democratic election were not met," the French foreign ministry said, adding the three-day vote took place amid "increasing repression of civil society and all forms of opposition to the regime".

"France salutes the courage of the many Russian citizens who have peacefully demonstrated their opposition to this attack on their fundamental political rights," it added.