Washington (CNN) Republican candidate Donald Trump’s ascension to the White House sent shock waves round the world and set markets tumbling — but it appears to have pleased Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Within hours of Trump’s acceptance speech, Putin congratulated him and flagged Moscow’s willingness to fully restore ties with its old Cold War foe, currently at loggerheads over how to deal with the Syria conflict.
Russia featured heavily in a heated campaign period, with Trump praising Putin as a firm leader as US officials accused Moscow of meddling by leaking hacked Democratic emails to undermine Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
“(Trump) spoke about resuming and restoring relations with Russia. We understand the way to that will be difficult, taking into account the current state of degradation of relations between the US and Russia,” Putin told Russian state television.
“As I have repeatedly said, that is not our fault that Russia-US relations are in that state. Russia is ready and wants to restore the fully fledged relations with the US. I repeat we understand this will be difficult but we are ready to play our part in it.”
The Kremlin earlier issued a statement saying Putin had expressed belief in building a constructive dialogue between Moscow and Washington.
Russians have followed the US election closely and many praised the real estate mogul’s victory, calling it a positive step for financial markets.
Kirill Dmitriev, head of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, said he felt financial markets would quickly right themselves.
“We believe that (a) Trump presidency offers more opportunity for global growth and reducing geopolitical confrontations through (a) pragmatic and results oriented approach,” Dmitriev said, a position that likely mirrors the Kremlin’s.
“A less confrontational US foreign policy will unlock major opportunities for joint trade and investment to lead to a more stable and secure world focused on growth and prosperity of its citizens.”
But not all Russians were convinced. Garry Kasparov, the Russian chess grandmaster and fierce Putin critic, tweeted his reaction to Trump’s victory: “Winter Is Here.” Kasparov wrote a critical book about Putin called “Winter Is Coming.”