Russian President Vladimir Putin called President Trump a “talented person” in an interview with The Financial Times ahead of the G-20 Summit in Osaka, Japan. “Mr. Trump is not a career politician,” Putin told the newspaper, according to Politico. “I do not accept many of his methods when it comes to addressing problems. But do you know what I think? I think that he is a talented person. He knows very well what his voters expect from him.” The Russian president referred to Trump as “Donald” multiple times throughout the interview. Putin also reportedly doubled down on denying accusations that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, and praised Trump while doing so. “What happened in reality? Mr. Trump looked into his opponents’ attitude to him and saw changes in American society, and he took advantage of this,” he said.
He also brushed off accusations that Russia was behind the poisoning of former U.K. spy Sergei Skripal, calling the “fuss about spies and counterspies” not worthy of “serious interstate relations” and was “worth five kopecks.” Trump and Putin will reportedly meet at the sidelines of the G-20 Summit, though the president told reporters before departing that it was “none of [their] business” what Putin and him would discuss.