Washington: Republican presidential frontrunner and Russian President Vladimir Putin seem set to form a mutual admiration society going by their high praise for each other.
First, the Russian leader, during an annual news conference in Moscow, described Trump as “an outstanding and talented personality”, adding: “He is a bright and talented person without any doubt.”
And mirroring real estate mogul’s own assessment of his campaign, Putin called Trump “the absolute leader of the presidential race”, according to news reports from Moscow.
Trump was quick to return the compliment, saying it was a “great honour” to get praise from Putin and that he would “get along very well” with the Russian leader.
“It is always a great honour to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond,” Trump said in a statement released by his campaign.
“I have always felt that Russia and the United States should be able to work well with each other towards defeating terrorism and restoring world peace, not to mention trade and all of the other benefits derived from mutual respect.”
Unlike other Republican presidential contenders, Trump has often touted his ability to improve Washington-Moscow relations by working with Putin.
He has also called Putin his “stable mate” since both were featured on the same episode of a recent edition of CBS’ “60 Minutes”.
He and the Russian leader “are very different” Trump said in October. But “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,” Trump said then.
“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.”
Putin referenced Trump’s reported desire “to reach another, deeper level of relations” with Russia in his remarks Thursday.
“What else can we do but to welcome it? Certainly, we welcome it,” Putin said.