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.