Putin Praises Trump’s Economic Policies at Russian Energy Forum

U.S. President Donald Trump’s economic policy has boosted growth in the U.S., Russian President Vladimir Putin has said on Wednesday, according to NBC News.

“Mr Trump has carried through the tax reform that has propped up the economic growth in the U.S. at a high level and the imports to the United States have increased,” Putin said during a panel hosted by NBC News at the Russian Energy Week in Moscow.

“Under President Obama, our mutual trade from $30 billion fell down to $20 billion, but in two years of Trump’s presidency it rebounded to $25 billion per annum. This is what matters to us and what we take into account,” Putin said, according to a translation.

Putin’s comments come at a time after the Institute for Supply Management said Tuesday that U.S. manufacturing activity fell last month to its lowest level in more than 10 years.

While Russia and the United States haven’t arrived at a bright future at this point in time, Putin said he hopes the bilateral relationship will come back to normal.

“We see that the position of President Trump himself has not changed as it has been voiced publicly. He wants restoration of the bilateral relationship. We welcome that. We will use any opportunity to implement that,” Putin said.

While defending Trump’s stance on Russia, Putin said that the “political infighting” in the U.S. was happening even before he met Trump.

“We had never had any affinity or special close relationship with the U.S. Now we have steady, confidence-based, as I see it, relationship, but the proximity between us has not impacted on the infighting in the United States,” Putin said.

“Scandals in the United States had emerged before we met with President Trump for the first time so no proximity here. But now we are witnessing what has been happening in the United States. They have been using each and every pretext to attack President Trump, lash out at him. Now they have been citing Ukraine and related squabbles and relationship with President (Volodymyr) Zelensky. We have nothing to do with that,” Putin said.