Europe

Russia's Putin calls Donald Trump 'a clever man' who will learn

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the Federal Assembly in the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Russia, on 1 December 2016. Image copyright EPA
Image caption Russian President Vladimir Putin hopes to have a good relationship with the Trump administration

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called Donald Trump "a clever man" who should "quickly understand" his role.

In an interview with state-controlled NTV, he said the US president-elect "is already a statesman".

Mr Putin has previously voiced hopes that the Trump administration will help improve US-Russia relations.

During the election campaign, Mr Trump called Mr Putin a better leader than US President Barack Obama - a remark which drew criticism in the US.

Mr Putin told the TV channel: "Trump was an entrepreneur and a businessman. He is already a statesman, he is the head of the United States of America, one of the world's leading countries.

"Because he achieved success in business, it suggests that he is a clever man. And if he is a clever man, then he will fully and quite quickly understand another level of responsibility. We assume that he will be acting from these positions."

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On 1 December, Mr Putin told Russia's political elite: "We don't want confrontation with anyone. We don't need it. We are not seeking and have never sought enemies. We need friends.

"We are ready to co-operate with the new US administration. We have a shared responsibility to ensure international security," he added.

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Media captionDonald Trump's win clearly suits Moscow
Image copyright Getty images
Image caption Donald Trump has ruffled feathers in more than one country with his recent phone calls

Addressing Russia's relations with the West, Mr Putin told NTV that attempts to create a unipolar world - in which one state has economic, military, and cultural dominance - had failed.

Russia's leader has often used the phrase to accuse the US of trying to dictate global affairs.

Mr Trump's stance on Russia was heavily scrutinised throughout his presidential campaign, and he has made clear that he respects Russia's leader.

Speaking in September, he said Mr Putin had "great control over his country" and called him a better leader than President Obama.

Mr Trump noted that the Russian had "an 82% approval rating," adding: "I think when he calls me brilliant I'll take the compliment, ok?"

In the run-up to the presidential election, US intelligence officials accused Russia of trying to influence the result by hacking the Democratic National Committee.

The Kremlin has rejected these claims.

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Media captionDonald Trump again praises the Russian president's leadership

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