Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin praised U.S. President Barack Obama during an interview with U.S. talk show host Larry King, according to RIA Novosti.

When asked by King during the satellite interview aired on CNN Wednesday what would be his assessment of Obama, Putin said that U.S. nationals should assess him as they voted for him.

"If I had to give an assessment on the part of an outside observer, I would say that President Obama faced very serious challenges, particularly in the economic and social spheres," the Russian premier said, adding that Obama "fulfilled his promise" he had made to Americans during his election campaign.

Putin also praised Obama for "softening the rhetoric" in Russian-U.S. relations.