MOSCOW, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- In a TV interview aired on Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called U.S. President-elect Donald Trump "a smart man" and expressed confidence in the latter's adaption to a new role.

"The fact that Trump managed to achieve success in business suggests that he is a smart man. And as he is smart, that means he will fully and quite quickly be aware of a different level of responsibility," Putin said in an interview with Russia's NTV channel.

"We assume that he will act based on this position," Putin added.

Putin was among the first leaders of major powers who sent congratulations to Trump as soon as the result of U.S. presidential election was announced last month.

During their first call in mid-November, both sides agreed the current ties between Russia and the Untied State "could not get worse" and vowed to help "stimulate a return to pragmatic, mutually beneficial cooperation," according to a Kremlin statement.

However, the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also pointed out on Nov. 23 that it will be a "difficult process and definitely not a quick one" for the two sides to normalize their battered ties.