Russian President Vladimir Putin said his homeland has a "beautiful" future because of science, technology and literature. Putin, whose relationship with newly elected President Donald Trump has drawn global scrutiny, seemed optimistic this week while discussing his nation's heritage. 

“I've listened to our laureates. But I didn't simply listen to what they said, I fell in love with their words,” Putin said to students at a special event celebrating the Day of Russian Science. “One simple but absolutely wonderful thought came to my mind. The foundations of our nation lie upon such deep roots, that our country's great and beautiful future is simply inevitable.”

Putin also praised Russian scientists, the Moscow Times reported Wednesday. “The whole world faces massive challenges which can be solved only with the help of science and technology," he said.

There are reasons for Putin to be so cheerful. He is well liked in his nation. He had an 83 percent approval rating in 2016 driven in part by his geopolitical conflicts with the West over conflicts in Syria and Ukraine. 

Russia is also expecting a strong economy this year. Russia's Central Bank Gov. Elvira Nabiullina said Thursday the Russian economy would grow in 2017 despite an uncertain oil market. Putin has said the national budget, which depends on revenue from crude oil exports to European and Asian markets, is counting on oil priced at around $40 per barrel.

And Trump has said he wants to build stronger relations with Putin, who had many tense interactions with the previous Obama administration and has been accused by the CIA of hacking the 2016 presidential election. After an unsubstantiated report that alleged Trump spent time in Moscow with Russian prostitutes was controversially published by BuzzFeed in January, Putin defended Trump, and, of course, sang his nation's praises once again.

"Trump is] a grown man, and secondly he’s someone who has been involved with beauty contests for many years and has met the most beautiful women in the world. I find it hard to believe that he rushed to some hotel to meet girls of loose morals, although ours are undoubtedly the best in the world," Putin told Bloomberg Politics.