President Vladimir Putin said on Friday he did not dispute that the US military was the world’s most powerful and that US President-elect Donald Trump’s statement about the need to boost his country’s nuclear weapons capability was perfectly normal.
Trump on Thursday called for an expansion of the United States’ nuclear capabilities, in a tweet that alarmed non-proliferation experts who said that a boost to the US arsenal could fuel global tensions.
Watch what else is in the news
Putin told a news conference in Moscow on Friday 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 modernise its own nuclear arsenal.
Putin said on Thursday Russia’s military was “stronger than any potential aggressor.” Putin made clear on Friday he did not regard the United States as a potential aggressor.
“I was a bit surprised by the statements from some representatives of the current US administration who for some reason started to prove that the US military was the most powerful in the world,” said Putin. “Nobody is arguing with that.”
He said Trump’s statement about overhauling US nuclear forces was “nothing special.”
“He (Trump) spoke during his election campaign about the need to beef up the US nuclear arsenal and the armed forces,” said Putin.