"Although I was aware of that, I was still surprised by how well [Putin] speaks German and understands the subtleties of the language," Blome noted. The journalist was also impressed by the Russian leader's impromptu recital of Die Lorelei, a poem by Heinrich Heine.
Blome also mentioned that Russia and its leader were key to securing a lasting peace in Syria.
"Take a look at Syria. [The Syrian crisis] will not be resolved without Russia," the journalist noted. "Be it for good or for bad, sadly, this issue could not be settled without Vladimir Putin."
Russia has been at the forefront in Syria. Moscow has launched a multinational aerial campaign aimed at destroying terrorist groups that are fighting to overthrow the government in Damascus and establish and Islamic state in the Arab country, including Daesh and al-Nusra Front.
Nevertheless, the two countries appear to be increasingly working together to resolve the crisis, which has claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people and left millions displaced. Putin and Obama recently discussed Syria in a phone conversation. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his American counterpart John Kerry are expected to meet next week to discuss the conflict.
Blome also asserted that the Russian president wants to be "on equal terms" with the West. Putin "wants to be viewed as a major player in the international arena and this is what he, de facto, is."