There was a certain degree of exulting in the Russian capital on Saturday in the wake of the first meeting between President Vladimir V. Putin and President Trump, with Mr. Putin himself saying that the American president seemed satisfied with his answers on the hacking issue and that the talks had set the stage for improved relations.
One Russian tabloid called the meeting “historic,” and over all there was a sense of relief that if short on concrete agreements, the talks seemed to halt the downward spiral in relations and lack of contact between the two countries.
This meeting “opened the way to a second, a third, a fourth meeting, where meaningful decisions will be made,” Sergei Markov, a political commentator close to the Kremlin, wrote on Facebook. He hailed the return to “normal contacts,” which he said had been destroyed by Mr. Obama, who sought to isolate Russia after it seized Crimea in March 2014.
Amid the cheering in Moscow, however, there were notes of caution about the frequent gaps between what Mr. Trump says and what he does and can deliver. And more important, there was a recognition that the domestic mood toward Russia in the United States remained sour.
The two accounts of the meeting — one from Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, and the other by the American secretary of state, Rex W. Tillerson, the only two officials in the room besides the two presidents — differed in some important details.
Notably, Mr. Tillerson said that Mr. Trump had confronted Mr. Putin about Russian interference in the 2016 election during a “robust and lengthy” discussion. In Mr. Lavrov’s account, Mr. Trump accepted Mr. Putin’s denial.
“Believe Lavrov,” Mr. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, told reporters on Saturday when asked about the divergent accounts. Some Russian officials expressed particular delight at that version.
“The neocons are furious,” Alexei K. Pushkov, a former chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the upper house of the Russian Parliament, wrote on Twitter, referring to neoconservatives in the United States. “Trump accepted Putin’s words about Russia’s noninterference in the American election. He does not want to stand at the ‘anti-Russian hysteria’ bus stop.” He added: “It was important for Trump to hear Putin: After all, back in Washington, he is fed informational gruel that is mixed up in the fake.”
Mr. Putin seemed to try to break the ice with Mr. Trump by referring to his travails with the news media back home. Mr. Putin gestured toward members of the press who had been allowed to photograph them before the meeting started and said, “These are the ones that insulted you?” according to a Twitter message from a member of the Kremlin press pool. Mr. Trump could be heard agreeing, saying, “You are right about that.”
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