Hamburg, Germany | AFP | President Vladimir Putin said Saturday that he expects Russian-US cooperation will improve under Donald Trump and that the American president is “very different” in real life compared to on TV.
The comments came a day after the pair held their first face-to-face meeting, an encounter eagerly awaited in the wake of allegations that Russia had a hand in Trump’s surprise election victory last year.
“The Trump that you see on TV is very different than the real Trump,” Putin told reporters in Hamburg, Germany where the talks took place on the sidelines of the G20 summit.
“He perfectly understands whom he is talking to and answers questions quickly. I think personal relations were established.”
Putin said he was positive about repairing US-Russian relations, which plunged to depths not seen since the Cold War under Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama.
“There is every reason to believe that we will be able to at least partially re-establish the level of cooperation that we need,” Putin told a news conference.
“I very much hope (for an improvement in relations) and it seems to me that some basis for this has already been created,” Putin said.
The Russian strongman said that in particular, the Trump administration appeared to be less rigid on the war on Syria, where Moscow and Washington back opposing sides.
“It seems to me that the US position (on Syria) has become more pragmatic. There is a comprehension that if we combine our efforts, we can achieve a lot,” Putin said.
Russia and the US have agreed to a memorandum of understanding on creating a de-escalation zone in southwest Syria from midday Sunday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.
Lavrov said the ceasefire would be supervised by Russian military police “in coordination with the Jordanians and Americans”.