Putin confirmed that the US president-elect told him he intends to normalize the US-Russian relationship, which has frayed over crises in Ukraine and Syria. Putin said the two did not discuss actually meeting just yet, and that a meeting between representatives was mentioned, but is proving logistically difficult.
Putin also commented that campaign trail rhetoric is not the same as "real politics." Trump ran a divisive campaign in the United States, and there are fears in the country that his administration will support racism and roll back what many see as progress on social issues.
"We know all too well that there is always a huge difference between pre-election rhetoric and real politics whatever the country. As for Mr. Trump’s pledge to bring business back to the US to create more jobs at home … what’s wrong about that?" Putin said.
Talks with current US President Barack Obama at APEC weren't easy, the Russian president said, but he did thank Obama for their years of work together and invited the outgoing US president to visit Russia.
Trump's election will not hinder trade development in APEC countries, Putin predicted. Trump campaigned against the sweeping Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim countries.
"Of course, there are questions like that out there, it is obvious. But there must be no fear, everything will straighten out one way or another," Putin said.