, MOSCOW, Sept 4 – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday rejected claims he has a poor personal relationship with President Barack Obama, praising his American counterpart as direct and “interesting” to work with.
Putin described Obama as a “concrete, business-like” partner, during an interview with state-run Channel One television ahead of the G20 summit Russia hosts in Saint Petersburg starting Thursday.
“All our talks are very constructive in nature, very substantive and rather frank,” Putin said in an interview released on Wednesday.
“In this respect the US president is a very good interlocutor, he is easy to talk to because it’s clear what the person wants, his position is clear, he listens to the position of another person.”
“It’s interesting for me to work with him.”
After Putin returned to the Kremlin for a third term last year, ties with the United States dramatically deteriorated over a host of issues including the Syrian crisis and human rights.
Tensions reached a peak after Moscow this summer gave asylum to the US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden prompting Obama to scrap his planned bilateral visit to Moscow ahead of the G20.