Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman has said that the Kremlin hopes Putin and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will "get along."
Dmitry Peskov spoke to reporters a day after Trump, who has praised Putin and said he will seek to improve badly strained relations between Russia and the United States, told a news conference that there was "a good chance" he will not get along with Putin.
"Moscow is genuinely hoping that our presidents will get along," Peskov said during a conference call.
"At least Trump has spoken of his readiness for dialogue," Peskov said. "This doesn't mean there's a readiness to agree about everything with each other. That is hardly possible and Moscow isn't expecting that, but dialogue is grounds for hope and could help us find a way out of many difficult situations."
During his first news conference since his election on November 8, Trump said: "Now, I don't know that I'm going to get along with Vladimir Putin. I hope I do. But there's a good chance I won't."
Trump's victory has been clouded by U.S. intelligence agencies' conclusion that Putin ordered a hacking campaign that aimed to undermine U.S. democracy, discredit Trump's opponent Hillary Clinton , and help him win the election.
Peskov also said that Moscow will continue to "patiently explain" its position on the Crimean Peninsula -- which Russia annexed in March 2014 after sending in troops and staging a referendum considered illegal by a majority of countries -- to the United States.
He took issue with remarks by Trump's pick for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, who said during a U.S. Senate confirmation hearing on January 11 that Russia's annexation of Crimea "was a taking of territory that was not theirs."
"Definitely, we disagree with such wording and will offer our arguments in explaining our position," Peskov said.
Based on reporting by Reuters and TASS