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Putin claims Obama 'would for sure save me' if he was drowning in bizarre TV show

Russian president Putin called Obama a 'good and courageous' person, but there's no news on whether he'd save the US leader

Barack Obama has received a compliment from an unlikely source, after Vladimir Putin described him during a TV interview as “a courageous and good person” – who would save the Russian president if he were ever drowning.

The bizarre remarks came at the end of a four-hour marathon Russian Television special, aptly named Ask Putin Things, where the Russian leader responded to questions from the audience and viewers.

Reading the question asking if Obama would save him aloud, the self-styled Russian strongman commented: “In addition to intergovernmental relations there are some personal relations.”

"I don’t think I have close personal relationship with Obama,” Putin admitted, before saying: “I think Obama is a courageous and good person and he would for sure save me."

His confidence doesn’t quite match the state of international relations between the two powers as the situation in Ukraine continues to deteriorate.

Earlier in the week the White House released a statement following a phone call between the two leaders, implying Mr Obama had warned Mr Putin over further troop movements near the Ukrainian border.

However, as tensions in the country continue to rise, and with the recent deaths of three pro-Russian supporters in Mariupol, Putin and Obama’s shaky personal relationship may be under increasing strain.

Nonetheless, Putin’s response was met with applause and laughter, before he quickly moved on.

Questions varied from Putin’s favourite film (Chapayev, in case you’re interested) to the economic situation in Crimea and Ukraine.

The question and answer session wrapped up shortly afterwards – but it remains to be seen if Putin would save Obama if the situation was reversed.

Additional reporting by agencies