Nuclear arsenal

Ronald Reagan“Trump understood the mood of the people and kept going until the end, when nobody believed in him,” Putin said, adding with a smile. “Except for you and me.” Putin addressed Trump’s comments about the need to boost the U.S. nuclear arsenal, saying they were perfectly normal.

Trump’s comments, made in a tweet on Thursday, alarmed non-proliferation experts who said that a boost to the U.S. arsenal could fuel global tensions.

But Putin said he was surprised by the fuss Trump’s tweet had caused and how it had been linked to his own statements about Russia’s plans to modernize its own nuclear arsenal.

Putin said on Thursday Russia’s military was “stronger than any potential aggressor”. He made clear on Friday he did not regard the United States as a potential aggressor.

Russia’s Vladimir Putin said on Friday he was unfazed by President-elect Donald Trump’s plans to boost the U.S. nuclear arsenal, praising Trump for being in touch with U.S. public opinion while branding the Democrats sore election losers.

Speaking at his annual news conference in Moscow, the Russian president said earlier comments he had made about his country’s own military modernization had been misunderstood in the United States and that he accepted that the U.S. military, not Russia’s, was the most powerful in the world.

“I was a bit surprised by the statements from some representatives of the current U.S. administration who for some reason started to prove that the U.S. military was the most powerful in the world,” said Putin.

“Nobody is arguing with that.”