Russia President Vladimir Putin has said that his American counterpart, Donald Trump, is radically different a person from what he appears to be on television channels. Putin also expressed hopes that the US-Russia ties could be improved under the Trump administration.
The two powerful men held their first-ever face-to-face encounter on Friday, 7 July on the sidelines of the G20 Hamburg summit. Their talks remained one of the key highlights of the event due to the geopolitical ramifications.
"I don't know how this may sound but I'll say what I see: Trump on TV differs very strongly from the real person," Putin told a press conference on Saturday, 8 July. He added that the American leader is "is an absolutely concrete person who perceives an interlocutor absolutely adequately, analyses quickly enough and responds to the formulated questions or some new elements that arise during a discussion."
There were huge expectations about the conversation between the two heads of state ahead of their actual talks on how Trump, a political novice and a real estate billionaire, will talk to Putin, a former spy and a political veteran.
They discussed several key dominant issues including Russia's interference in the US presidential elections and Syrian conflict during their two-hour-long talks.
"If we can build a relationship along the lines of our conversation yesterday, then there is every reason to believe we can restore, at least to a certain degree, the level of co-operation we need," said Putin.
Relations between the two countries plunged into new low under Trump's predecessor Barack Obama because of the Syrian civil war and Ukrainian crisis. This has exasperated the tensions in the US-Russia ties which manifest itself in multiple major global events.
Asked specifically about his conversation with Trump and the matter over Moscow's meddling with the US elections, the Russian president said: "[Trump] asked a lot of questions on this subject. I, in as much as I was able, answered these questions. It seems to me that he took these [answers] on board and agreed with them, but in actual fact, it's best to ask him how he views this."
When pressed further, Putin said: "He asked pointed questions, I answered them. It seemed to me that he was satisfied with those answers."