By Mike Wendling for BBC News
President Vladimir Putin has said he believes a deal can be reached to free Evan Gershkovich, a US reporter detained last year in Russia.
Speaking with US host Tucker Carlson, Putin said talks were ongoing with the US about the journalist, who is being held on espionage charges.
In the interview, Putin held forth on Ukraine, US presidents and the CIA.
It's the first time the Russian leader has sat down with a Western journalist since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022.
Putin said he believed a deal could be struck to release Gershkovich, 32, "if our partners take reciprocal steps".
"The special services are in contact with one another. They are talking… I believe an agreement can be reached."
Gershkovich, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, was arrested in the city of Yekaterinburg, about 1600km east of Moscow, last year on 29 March.
In January, Russia again extended his pre-trial detention until the end of March. He faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.
Carlson has released his controversial interview with Putin today.
The more than two-hour video was filmed in Moscow on Tuesday, Carlson said.
The interview began with a question about Putin's reason for ordering the invasion of Ukraine.
"Tell us why you believe the United States might strike Russia out of the blue," Carlson asked. "How did you conclude that?"
"It's not that America, the United States, was going to launch a surprise strike on Russia," Putin said through a translator. "I didn't say that. Are we having a talk show or a serious conversation?"
Putin then spoke at length - more than half an hour - about the history of eastern Europe, beginning with the establishment of the Russian state in the 9th century.
The Russian president argued that parts of Ukraine had long belonged to Russia. He has given various justifications for the invasion, which he repeated during the interview.
Putin also insisted that Russia has no interest in invading Poland, Latvia or other Nato countries, calling such a scenario "absolutely out of the question".
He accused Nato member states of trying to intimidate people with what he called an imaginary Russian threat, and accused the CIA of supporting Russian separatist groups, controlling US foreign policy and destroying the Nord Stream pipeline.
During the interview, Putin gave lengthy answers to questions and repeatedly admonished Carlson when he attempted to bring the subject back to the war in Ukraine.
The Russian president also discussed his relationship with American presidents, repeating a story he has previously mentioned, about Bill Clinton suggesting that Russia could join the Nato alliance, only to withdraw the option shortly afterwards.
He said he had a "very good relationship" with George W Bush.
"He was no worse than any other American or Russian or European politician," Putin said. "I assure you he understood what he was doing as well as others. I had such personal relationship with [Donald] Trump as well."
Putin said he did not recall the last time he spoke to US President Joe Biden.
Prior to the interview, Carlson claimed "not a single Western journalist has bothered to interview" Putin since 2022.
But Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov told the BBC: "Mr Carlson is not correct, and he couldn't have known that. We receive a lot of requests for interviews with the president."
Countless reporters from Western countries, including the BBC's Russia editor Steve Rosenberg, have sent the Kremlin repeated interview requests.
All of the BBC's interview requests have been ignored.
Russian state media spent several days covering Carlson's visit, broadcasting footage of his various trips to restaurants and a visit to see the Spartacus ballet at the Bolshoi Theatre.
Carlson was the highest-rated prime-time host on Fox News until he was taken off air in April 2023, for reasons the channel has never made clear.
He started his own media company and found an outlet on X, formerly Twitter.
Content on the Tucker Carlson Network consists mostly of friendly interviews with right-wing politicians - including a chat with Donald Trump timed to coincide with a Republican presidential debate - and other figures such as Andrew Tate and Russell Brand.
Although more than 120 million people saw at least a piece of his introductory video on X, figures fell dramatically, with most of his recent videos registering less than 10m views. The company formerly known as Twitter says it counts at least two seconds of watch time as a "view".
- This story was first published by the BBC.