Putin says Trump won US election because he 'precisely felt mood of society'

Mr Putin suggested that "a large part of Republican voters support the Russian president"

Putin says Trump won US election because he 'precisely felt mood of society'

Picture by Pavel Golovkin AP/Press Association Images

Donald Trump won the American presidency because he "precisely felt the mood of society", Vladimir Putin has said.

The Russian president added that "nobody believed that he would win except us". 

Referring to a pledge from Mr Trump to strengthen America's nuclear forces, Mr Putin said he saw "nothing unusual" in it. 

Speaking at his annual end-of-year news conference, he also suggested that the Obama administration, and the Democrats in general, had sought to blame recent misfortunes on external factors such as Russia. 

He said: "They are losing on all fronts and are looking for the guilty party on the side.

"That's beneath their dignity. You have to lose with dignity."

Quizzed about some Americans' apparent support for him, he said: "I don't put it down to me, the fact that a large part of Republican voters support the Russian president.

"It means that a large part of the American people have the same idea of how the world should be, of our common dangers and problems." 

Mr Putin told reporters: "It's good that there are people that sympathise with us in our concept of traditional values." 

Asked about the situation in Syria, he said: "The next stage should be a ceasefire on the entire territory of Syria and the launch of talks on a political settlement."

Discussing how this might come about, Mr Putin said the Turkish and Iranian leaders had agreed that such talks should be held in the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana.

Other countries in the region such as Saudi Arabia could contribute, he added, while the United States was welcome to get involved.