(Politico) The love between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin appears to be mutual.

According to an Interfax report of his annual year-end news conference, Putin called the Republican presidential candidate “a very bright and talented man,” as well as an “absolute leader” in the race for the presidency. (Another account, from Reuters, translated Putin as saying Trump is “a very flamboyant man.”)

“He says that he wants to move to another level of relations, to a deeper level of relations with Russia. How can we not welcome that? Of course we welcome it,” Putin said, according to Reuters’ report.

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.