In a rare first, Russian President Vladimir Putin has talked about his relationship with American President Donald Trump.

Speaking at the Energy Week conference in Moscow earlier this week, the Russian strongman said that he has no ‘personal’ relationship with President Trump, stressing: “We have almost no personal relationship. We saw each other just once. Yes, we had a couple of phone conversations on various issues of mutual interest, including Syria.”

Putin explained President Trump’s character from a different angle and also the influence of the US leader on Russia-America ties. “I believe that a personality, like Trump, with his character, will never be hostage to anyone. Regarding bilateral relations, you can judge for yourself. They have become hostage to the domestic political situation in the US. Certain forces are using Russian-American relations to address internal political issues. We are patiently waiting for this internal political process to end,” said the Russian president.

Meanwhile, President Putin expressed hope that the fundamental mutual interests, such as the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, combating cyber-crime, energy co-operation, co-operation in addressing regional conflicts and anti-terrorism, would bring the two countries closer.

He once again advised Washington to resolve the ‘North Korea’ crisis through peaceful negotiation, insisting that the global military strike against Pyongyang to destroy its nuclear arsenal might not be the ideal option, as it is difficult to locate the North Korean military facilities.

“Let us speak to the point, after all – Can a global strike against North Korea be launched to disarm it? Yes. Will it achieve its aim? We don’t know. Who knows what they have there and where. Nobody knows with 100% certainty as it’s a closed country,” Putin told the audience.

Koushik Das, based in the Indian capital of New Delhi, is a senior news editor with more than 15 years of experience. He also runs a blog - Boundless Ocean of Politics. E-Mail: [email protected]