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By Associated Press

MOSCOW — Russian leader Vladimir Putin says his first summit with President Donald Trump was "successful" and is accusing Trump's opponents in the U.S. of hampering any progress on the issues they discussed.

Putin told Russian diplomats Thursday that U.S.-Russian relations are "in some ways worse than during the Cold War" but that his meeting with Trump on Monday allowed them to start on "the path to positive change."

"We will see how things develop further," the Russian president added, expressing concern about unnamed "forces" in the U.S. trying to prevent any improvement in relations, notably cooperation in the Syria war or arms control.

In his first comments about the summit, Putin insisted that Russia remains "open to contacts with the U.S."

Trump has come under widespread domestic criticism about the meeting.

Meanwhile, Russian politicians rallied Putin and denounced American suggestions that the translator at his meeting with Trump be interrogated about what they discussed privately.

Russia's ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov, expressed hope Thursday that "the verbal agreements between Putin and Trump will be fulfilled."

Russian officials have shrugged off Trump's wildly contradictory accounts of what he said to Putin at Monday's summit.

They are angry however at proposals by U.S. lawmakers to question Trump's translator.

Konstantin Kosachev, head of the upper house of parliament's foreign affairs committee, said Thursday the idea sets a dangerous precedent that threats the "the whole idea of diplomacy," according to Russian news agencies.