Russia's Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that US President Donald Trump listened to him and was keen to improve battered US-Russia ties despite the complicated domestic political situation in the United States.
Putin, who was speaking at a discussion forum in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, made the comments when asked if he agreed that Trump only listened to himself.
Putin said he thought the US president wanted to stabilize the troubled relationship between Moscow and Washington and said it was not true that Trump only listened to himself.
"Maybe he acts like that with someone else, but in that case, they are to blame. I have a completely normal and professional dialogue with him and of course, he listens. I see that he reacts to his interlocutor's arguments," said Putin.
The Russian leader said it was normal they disagreed about many things, something he said was normal in discussions with foreign leaders.
As for the Jamal Khashoggi case, Putin said that Russia did not have enough information about the unexplained disappearance of a Saudi journalist to justify spoiling ties with Riyadh.
Turkey says Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who was critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed by Saudi agents in Riyadh's diplomatic mission in Istanbul on October 2 and his body cut up. Saudi Arabia denies the allegation.
On Syria issues, Putin said that it was not up to Russia to persuade Iran to pull its forces out of Syria and that the governments calling for Iran to leave should provide guarantees that they would not meddle in Syria's affairs.
He said that the ISIL militants had seized nearly 700 hostages in part of Syria controlled by US-backed forces and issued an ultimatum promising to execute 10 people every day, adding that the hostages included several US and European nationals and the ISIL was expanding its control in territory on the left bank of the River Euphrates controlled by the US and US-backed forces.
The Russian president also told reporters that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told him that Tokyo could not immediately sign a peace deal with Moscow without first agreeing on certain pre-conditions.
Putin, sitting alongside Abe at an economic forum in Vladivostok last month, proposed Japan and Russia conclude an unconditional peace treaty that would formally end World War Two hostilities between the two countries.