Vladimir Putin praises 'openness' of US as countries prepare for United Nations conference to resolve Syria crisis

Mr Putin is engaged in an international charm and is looking to win a diplomatic tussle over a resolution to the Syria crisis

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The Independent Online

Russian President Vladimir Putin has praised the “creativity” and “openness” of Americans as he prepares for an address to the United Nations in New York next week and key talks with President Barack Obama. 

The Russian leader appeared to dial down his anti-US rhetoric in a sit-down interview with CBS’ Charlie Rose due to be aired in full on 27 September.

Asked what he admired most about Americans, Mr Putin replied that he liked their creativity. “Creativity when it comes to your tackling problems. Their openness — openness and open-mindedness — because it allows them to unleash the inner potential of their people. And thanks to that, America has attained such amazing results in developing their country,” he said.

 

Mr Putin is engaged in an international charm offensive ahead of the UN General Assembly meeting next week where the Kremlin is looking to win a diplomatic tussle over a resolution to the Syria crisis.

Anti-US rhetoric from Russian officials spiked last year amid a deterioration of relations between Russia and the West over Ukraine, with Moscow accusing the US and European countries of fomenting unrest.

In the interview, recorded near Moscow earlier this week, Mr Putin also told Mr Rose that he was curious about America because the country “exerts enormous influence on the situation in the world as a whole.”

Washington has looked to isolate the Kremlin for its support of separatists in Ukraine and its seizure of the Black Sea region of Crimea.

While the US maintains it is committed to keeping Russia in the cold, officials in Moscow are manoeuvring to return Russia to the centre of global decision making with a ramped up military presence in Syria, and have raised the possibility of working with the US to target Isis.

“The Americans are [now] far more receptive to the arguments we have been advancing for several years,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier this week. “Their position is moving.”

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