Putin says Trump clever, will understand new responsibilities

MOSCOW, Dec 4 (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Donald Trump is a clever man and will quickly understand his new responsibilities, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with NTV TV.

Putin has spoken previously of his hope that Trump will help restore U.S.-Russia relations, and analysts said he was unlikely to want to dial up anti-Western rhetoric before Trump's inauguration in January.

"Trump was an entrepreneur and a businessman. He is already a statesman, he is the head of the United States of America, one of the world's leading countries," NTV quoted Putin as saying in the interview on www.ntv.ru on Sunday.

"Because he achieved success in business, it suggests that he is a clever man. And if (he is) a clever man, then he will fully and quite quickly understand another level of responsibility. We assume that he will be acting from these positions," Putin said.

See photos of Putin at his annual press conference:

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Vladimir Putin makes faces at his annual press conference
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Vladimir Putin makes faces at his annual press conference
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 17: (RUSSIA OUT) Russian President Vladimir Putin attends his annual press conference on December 17, 2015 in Moscow, Russia. During the conference, the Russian President spoke about a number of topics including doping in sport, the situation in Ukraine and the downing of a Russian combat jet by Turkey last month. (Photo by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)
Journalists raise their hands for questions during Russian President Vladimir Putin's annual press conference in Moscow on December 17, 2015. Russian President Vladimir Putin on December 17 described US Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump as a talented and outstanding man. AFP PHOTO / NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA / AFP / NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA (Photo credit should read NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 17: (RUSSIA OUT) Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual press conference on December 17, 2015 in Moscow, Russia. During the conference, the Russian President spoke about a number of topics including doping in sport, the situation in Ukraine and the downing of a Russian combat jet by Turkey last month. (Photo by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)
Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he leaves a hall after his annual press conference in Moscow on December 17, 2015. Russian President Vladimir Putin on December 17 described US Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump as a talented and outstanding man. AFP PHOTO / NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA / AFP / NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA (Photo credit should read NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images)
Russian President Vladimir Putin holds his annual press conference in Moscow on December 17, 2015. President Vladimir Putin said on December 17 Russia was prepared to face any economic situation as the country's energy-dependent economy reels from lower oil prices. AFP PHOTO / NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA / AFP / NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA (Photo credit should read NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images)
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual press conference in Moscow on December 17, 2015. AFP PHOTO / SPUTNIK / MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV / AFP / SPUTNIK / MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV (Photo credit should read MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 17: Russian President Vladimir Putin answers the questions of the press members during an annual evaluation session in Moscow, Russia, on December 17, 2015. (Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Russian President Vladimir Putin holds his annual press conference in Moscow on December 17, 2015. AFP PHOTO / NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA / AFP / NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA (Photo credit should read NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images)
Russian President Vladimir Putin looks on during his annual press conference in Moscow on December 17, 2015. AFP PHOTO / NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA / AFP / NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA (Photo credit should read NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 17: (RUSSIA OUT) Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual press conference on December 17, 2015 in Moscow, Russia. During the conference, the Russian President spoke about a number of topics including doping in sport, the situation in Ukraine and the downing of a Russian combat jet by Turkey last month. (Photo by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)
Russian President Vladimir Putin looks on during his annual press conference in Moscow on December 17, 2015. / AFP / NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA (Photo credit should read NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 17: Russian President Vladimir Putin walks before the 11th presidential annual news conference at the World Trade Center on Krasnaya Presnya on December 17, 2015. (Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 17: Russian President Vladimir Putin walks before the 11th presidential annual news conference at the World Trade Center on Krasnaya Presnya on December 17, 2015. (Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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Putin's comments appeared to address criticism from Trump's opponents who say his unconventional actions since the election - including railing at the cast of a Broadway show and early-morning invective on Twitter - show Trump is out of his depth.

China lodged a diplomatic protest on Saturday after Trump spoke by phone with President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan, the first by a U.S. president-elect or president since Jimmy Carter switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979, acknowledging Taiwan as part of "one China."

Speaking about Russia's relations with the West, Putin said attempts to create a unipolar world had failed: "The situation is changing. I think it is not a secret to anyone, everyone sees it, that many of our partners already prefer to stick to principles of international law, because the world's balance is being gradually restored."

Putin said when building relationships with other countries, Russia would respect their interests. (Reporting by Polina Devitt; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

RELATED: These are Trump's official picks for cabinet and administration positions:

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Trump's official picks for Cabinet and administration positions
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Trump's official picks for Cabinet and administration positions

Counselor to the President: Kellyanne Conway

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Veterans Affairs Secretary: David Shulkin

(Photo credit DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images)

Transportation secretary: Elaine Chao

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Energy secretary: Rick Perry

(Photo credit KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)

Secretary of State: Rex Tillerson

 REUTERS/Daniel Kramer

Secretary of Defense: Retired Marine General James Mattis

(Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Chief of staff: Reince Priebus

(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Chief strategist: Steve Bannon

(EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Attorney General: Senator Jeff Sessions

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Director of the CIA: Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Deputy national security adviser: K.T. McFarland

(Photo by Michael Schwartz/Getty Images)

White House counsel: Donald McGahn

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Ambassador to the United Nations: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley

(Photo by Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Education secretary: Betsy DeVos

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Commerce secretary: Wilbur Ross

(Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Homeland security secretary: General John Kelly

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Housing and urban development secretary: Ben Carson

(Photo credit NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Administrator of Environmental Protection Agency: Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Health and human services secretary: Tom Price

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Department of Homeland Security: Retired General John Kelly

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

Secretary of agriculture: Sonny Perdue

(BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)
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