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The Russian president has praised his US counterpart's communication skills and willingness to compromise. He then joked about trying to recruit Melania Trump as a Russian spy.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview released Wednesday that US President Donald Trump had left a good impression on him, and that he has "no disappointment at all" in their relationship thus far.
Speaking to state broadcaster Russia-1 for a documentary series called "The World Order," Putin praised the American leader's communication skills, saying "it's possible to negotiate with him, to search for compromises."
Putin did not have the same admiration for the US political system, however, which he said has "demonstrated its ineffciency and is eating itself up."
"It's quite difficult to interact with such a system, because it's unpredictable," he added.
'No one likes competition'
The Russian president also avoided any blame for tensions between Russia and the West, saying that western countries had long tried to weaken and control Moscow.
"We are a great power, and no one likes competition," said Putin, noting his dismay at reported US involvement in Ukraine's 2014 protests that led to the ouster of Russia-friendly President Viktor Yanukovych.
In the program, Putin laughed alongside interviewer Vladimir Solovyov at the suggestion that he had tried to "recruit" US First Lady Melania Trump as a Russian spy. He said that when the two sat next to each other at the G20 summit in Hamburg last summer, they talked about wildlife and fishing in Russia.
The former KGB agent promised he hadn't tried to "turn" Melania Trump, "no, I stopped doing that a long time ago."
Putin has dismissed allegations that his government meddled in the US election in order to get Trump elected as something "invented" by Trump's opponents.