In a press conference Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin praised GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump as a “bright personality” and “talented” person.
“He is a bright personality, a talented person, no doubt about it,” he gushed. “It is not up to us to appraise his positive sides, it is up to the U.S. voters. But, as we can see, he is an absolute leader in the presidential race.”
In the past, Trump claimed he could rejuvenate the relationship between the U.S. and Russia, which has stalled to Cold War levels due to the latter’s invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea.
“I think that I would at the same time get along very well with him. He does not like Obama at all. He doesn’t respect Obama at all. And I’m sure that Obama doesn’t like him very much,” said Trump. “But I think that I would probably get along with him very well. And I don’t think you’d be having the kind of problems that you’re having right now.”
The statement appeared to please Putin.
“He is saying that he wants to move to a different level of relations with Russia, to a closer, deeper one. How can we not welcome that? Of course, we welcome that,” said Putin.
But Putin insisted he would not comment on any of Trump’s remarks “to prop up his popularity” on the campaign trail.
“It is none of our business to estimate this work of his,” he said.
Putin applauded Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Moscow this week, since it shows the Kremlin “in general the US side is also ready to move towards a joint solution to those issues that can be solved jointly.” The two men discussed the Syrian civil war and the Ukraine crisis. Both agreed that al-Qaeda’s al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) should not participate in any Syria peace talk while coming closer to agreeing on a list of terrorist groups in the country. They also agreed that terrorism is dangerous for everyone.
“We confirmed today the accords reached between the Russian and US military and agreements concerning the US-led coalition on the fight against the Islamic State,” declared Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
However, Putin also criticized U.S. foreign policy by saying the country “has never closed itself, ‘whoever the US people elected.'”
“They always try to tell us what we need to do in this country — whom to elect and whom not to elect, and according to what procedures. We never do this and we stay out of (their business),” claimed Putin.