President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday he thought his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump had been satisfied with his assertions that Russia had not meddled in the U.S. presidential election.
Speaking at the end of a G20 summit in Germany where the two leaders met face-to-face for the first time, Putin said he believed he had been able to establish a personal relationship with Trump, and that the initial groundwork had been laid for an improvement in U.S.-Russian ties.
Their meeting, on the sidelines of the Hamburg summit, was subject to intense scrutiny, following allegations that Moscow had tried to help Trump win the White House, and a Washington investigation into the Russia ties of Trump associates.
Putin was pressed by reporters at a news conference to share details of the discussion he had with Trump about alleged Russian election interference. Russia has denied trying to influence the U.S. election.
"(Trump) asked a lot of questions on this subject. I, in as much as I was able, answered these questions. It seems to me that he took these (answers) on board and agreed with them, but in actual fact, it's best to ask him how he views this," Putin told one reporter.
I believe it would not be entirely appropriate on my part to disclose details of my discussion with Mr Trump. He asked, I answered him. He asked pointed questions, I answered them. It seemed to me that he was satisfied with those answers," Putin said.
Putin also spoke warmly of Trump's personal qualities. The two men have spoken by telephone since Trump won the U.S. presidential election last year, but had not met until the G20 summit in Hamburg.