“I believe that such a person like Mr. Trump, with his character, will never be hostage to someone’s interests,” the Russian president said, in a conference hall full of representatives of major international energy companies and organizations
Mr. Trump has repeatedly expressed admiration for Mr. Putin’s leadership style.
Many in Russia had hoped that Mr. Trump would lift the sanctions imposed by the United States over Moscow’s decision to annex Crimea and destabilize Ukraine, and that he would give Russia a free hand to act in the former Soviet republics.
None of that has been realized, however. Instead, relations between the two countries has sunk even deeper as further revelations have surfaced about Russia’s meddling in the United States presidential election campaign.
Mr. Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki R. Haley, has sharply criticized Russia over Crimea. Kurt Volker, a supporter of sanctions against Moscow, was appointed as the United States’ special representative to Ukraine.
Still, Mr. Putin expressed optimism about the future of Russia’s relationship with the United States.
“We have many friends in America who want to develop ties with us,” he said at the forum. “We support ties with them irrespective of the current political situation.”