ussia’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.
Putin said on Thursday Russia’s military was “stronger than any potential aggressor”. Trump later tweeted that the United States “must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.”
Asked to clarify his comments on Friday, MSNBC reported that Trump had said: “Let it be an arms race. We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.”
But Putin said he did not regard the United States as a potential aggressor and had only been talking about countries he thought might realistically launch an attack on Russia.
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,” Putin said, referring to State Department comments from Thursday.
“Nobody is arguing with that.”