(AP) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has hailed President Donald Trump as a straightforward person with a fresh vision.
Speaking at Thursday’s meeting with senior editors of the world’s leading news agencies, Putin said Russia had been encouraged by Trump’s campaign statements in which he lamented Russia-U.S. ties being at a historical low and promised to improve them.
Moscow’s hopes for a rapprochement with the U.S. have been dashed by congressional and FBI investigations into Trump campaign ties with Russia, but Putin emphasized that Moscow still hopes to forge a constructive dialogue with the Trump administration.
He praised Trump as “a straightforward person, a frank person.” Putin added that while some see Trump’s lack of political experience as a disadvantage, he sees it as beneficial because “he has a fresh set of eyes.”
Putin alo expressed regret that anti-Russian sentiments in the U.S. have prevented cooperation on fighting terrorism.
He said “there are certain dimensions we can pursue more actively in fighting terror” — but “Russo-phobic hysteria” in the U.S. has made such cooperation all but impossible.
Asked if he could offer any advice to Trump, Putin said it would be “counterproductive” to give advice to a political counterpart and added that “a person like President Trump doesn’t need any advice, especially if it comes to political issues.”
He concluded by saying that “my wish is to forge a constructive dialogue underpinned by national interests,” and “I believe it’s possible with the current U.S. president.”